A warning from Republicans: President Obama only struck a deal with Iran on its nuclear program so that you'd stop paying attention to the Obamacare rollout. If that was actually the president's plan — which, of course, it wasn't — it hasn't been super-effective, given how mixed the response to the Iran deal has been.
Amazing what WH will do to distract attention from O-care— JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) November 24, 2013
The No. 2 ranking Republican in the Senate, John Cornyn of Texas, launched this line of thinking early Sunday morning, tweeting in the wake of the deal's announcement that Obama was trying to "distract attention" from his health care law. (This echoed the argument Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made in response to the Democrats' decision to undermine the filibuster: just a ploy to talk about something besides Healthcare.gov.)
Monday morning on Fox and Friends, Fox News' Bret Baier picked up the baton, as Mediaite notes.
“Don’t you think it’s a little curious– you know, some of my friends were talking over the weekend, ‘Oh, isn’t that curious timing?” [host] Steve Doocy began. “Out of nowhere in the midst of Obamacare not unrolling correctly, the president’s poll numbers never been lower, then look, [Secretary of State] John Kerry pulls a rabbit out of his hat and changes the subject.”
“Yes,” Baier replied. “It is questionable timing.”
With their next breath, the pair note that the deal had been in the making for a long time — perhaps originating, Politico reports, even while Secretary of State John Kerry was still in the Senate. Cornyn's equivalent in the House, Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy, has dismissed the idea that the deal was just a diversion, according to The Hill, saying, "I know [the administration needs] some type of other news," but that a deal meant to distract "would never be the case."