Republican presidential candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush said on Friday that he would not cancel the Iran deal on his first day in office, as other Republican candidates have done.
There are defensible reasons for such reluctance–such as the virtual certainty that such a decision would lead Iran to withdraw from a deal, and the fact that constant reversals of U.S. foreign policy from one administration to another undermine America’s international credibility.
But neither of those were the reasons that Bush gave to an audience in Nevada.
Instead, he said (via Politico):
“At 12:01 on January, whatever it is, 19th , I will not probably have a confirmed secretary of state; I will not have a confirmed national security team in place; I will not have consulted with our allies. I will not have had the intelligence briefings to have made a decision,” Bush said. “If you’re running for president, I think it’s important to be mature and thoughtful about this.”
This is the political equivalent of saying that the dog will have eaten your homework.
The Iran deal is not a new or surprising issue. It is an issue for which the candidates have had time to prepare answers–and for which voters are demanding answers.
Assuming he is the Republican nominee, Bush will have nearly 18 months to refine his policy on Iran. And if Bush is elected president in November 2016, he will have nearly 3 months to assemble a transition team and develop his policies more specifically.
There are arguable reasons not to cancel the Iran deal unilaterally, if it passes (which it must not). The reasons given by Bush do not qualify.