CD8 candidate Joel Rubin accused David Trone of being inconsistent with his positions on the Iran deal, depending on the audience. Here’s Rubin’s Facebook post from last night:
First: Maryland Scramble can confirm that Trone did say he supports the Iran deal at the earlier event, for which there’s video.
At 1:37:55 of the video, Trone says: “we certainly support the Iranian deal. It’s the right thing.”
So Rubin is correct about what Trone said back on March 27.
Second: What we don’t have is video of the Orthodox Union event. Several attendees stated that Trone did state his opposition to the Iran deal.
Third: So I reached out to Andrew Friedson of the Trone campaign, who sent me the following statement:
He strongly supports rigorous enforcement of the deal we have. His position is that it may not have been the best deal we could have gotten but it’s the deal we have, and having a deal is very important, so regardless of where people may have been on the deal, we all have to come together as a country to stand together on it. His exact line was that he stands with Ben Cardin and with Chuck Schumer on it.
Fourth: It seemed to me that invoking two of the four senators who voted “no” on the deal in 2015 (which Friedson indicated Trone had done at the OU event) was something worth following up on. In a subsequent phone conversation with Friedson, it became clear that Trone’s position is that he would have voted “no” on the deal last year, as he believes that Iran was and is a “rogue nation” that cannot be trusted, and Friedson also alluded to some of the specific concerns set forth by Maryland Senator Ben Cardin in his September 2015 op-ed in the Post. Friedson also stressed, however, that now that there’s a deal on the books, it would be a “disaster” to “tear it up” as GOP presidential candidates have been suggesting.
So it’s probably not right to say that Trone has flip flopped, because “what would you have done back then?” is a different question than “what would you do now?” That said, Friedson acknowledged that Trone would have voted against the position of the vast majority of the Congressional Democratic caucus and President Obama, not to mention the vote cast by Chris Van Hollen. That position puts him at odds with every candidate in the CD8 primary contest other than David Anderson.
Last word goes to Joel Rubin. Here’s his reaction to the clarification of Trone’s position.
“David Trone has finally clarified that he would have opposed President Obama and House Democrats like Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Chris Van Hollen, and instead sided with a Republican Party hellbent on destroying the president’s most significant diplomatic achievement. I worked with many colleagues over many years as both an activist and official to see this deal get done. Yet it’s clear that Mr. Trone hasn’t learned the lessons of the Iraq War, and that he would have opposed the president he says he supports and the constituents he says he wants to represent. It calls into question his foreign policy judgment while making me doubt that he’s a real progressive.”
The foreign policy war of words is on. Let’s see where it takes us.