Jeb: Prisoner Release ‘Wrong Approach With the Right Reason,’ Should Be ‘Vigilant’ With Iran Deal

Republican presidential candidate former Florida Governor Jeb Bush stated he believes President Obama’s prisoner release “was the wrong approach with the right reason” and stated “we need to be vigilant” with the Iran nuclear deal in an interview broadcast on Tuesday’s “AC 360” on CNN.

Jeb said of the president’s prisoner release, “I would have preferred that he do it the old-fashioned way, which is to find people that agree with him that we need to reform our federal criminal justice system, people on the Republican side — there’s large numbers of Republicans that believe we need to reform it as well. Work through Congress, actually do something where the democracy works properly, rather than by executive order.”

He added, “I think it was the wrong approach with the right reason, and 6,000 people being released, I don’t know what the screening process is. I don’t know, I’ve talked to some law enforcement officials and they’re concerned about the possibility of increased crime. We’ve seen an increase in crime in the big urban areas right now. No one would want to see that increase. But there is a problem of mandatory sentences. I think the federal government shouldn’t necessarily be involved to the extent that they are in criminal justice matters, and the president has opportunity to shift power back to the states to let the states decide this, and to give people second chances.

When asked if he would lift the Iran nuclear deal, “I would, I would confront Iran’s ambitions in the region. … That means that we shouldn’t allow for the gaining of influence in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen, in Lebanon, as they have done. I would do everything in my power to assure that our European allies wouldn’t make major investments in Iran, including the possibility of reinstating US sanctions, which won’t have the same impact as European sanctions directly on Iran, but will have an impact on European companies that are considering investing and they have to choose will they go to the country that has the rule of law, the largest market in the world, great, you know, great relationships already, or will they go partnering with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to suppress the people of Iran? And, so — and then we need to be vigilant as it relates to the actual agreement. The problem with this agreement is it only deals with one element, and there’s no assurance that there’s the verification procedures to give anybody confidence. And then on top of that, you’re allowing sanctions to allow them to continue to be aggressively pursuing their strategy of state-sponsored terrorism.”

Jeb also said the deal “should have included the larger, the equally important issues” of Iran’s state-sponsorship of terrorism and propping up of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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