Huffpost Politics
Sam Stein Headshot

GOP Congressman Says Obama's Hesitance On Iran Responsible For Violence (VIDEO)

Posted: Updated:

It was bound to happen. Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, accused Barack Obama on Tuesday of allowing violence in Iran to get out of hand by not speaking out against the country's leadership earlier.

The California Republican, appearing on MSNBC's The Ed Show, said that the president "ratcheted up the language a little bit" during his press conference on Tuesday. But, he added, "If [Obama] would have been talking even a little bit tougher a few days ago we might not have seen the violence and bloodshed of this repressive regime in Tehran in the last two days."

The comments, by far the most personal attack on the Obama administration's handling of the situation in Iran, were far enough removed from perceptive analysis that even former Rep. Tom Tancredo - hardly a shrinking conservative voice - pushed back against them.

"I take issue with my very good friend Dana Rohrabacher, believe it or not," the Colorado Republican told Schultz in the subsequent segment. "I actually think that the president was right in the way he was handling the issue. I don't think there was an awful lot he should have said. In a way I was disappointed that he seemed to cave into the pressure he was getting to actually speak more harshly about this in his press conference. I think he was on the right track."

Indeed, even Rohrabacher - after being pressed for clarification - backtracked from accusing Obama of having blood on his hands. It was, he added, the "Mullahs" in Iran who were to blame for the violence. Obama "is responsible for his own actions."

"[The President's] own actions and his lack of a tough statement early on gave them the impression that... emboldened the mullah dictatorship," Rohrabacher said. "It would be like Ronald Reagan going to the Berlin Wall and saying Mr. Gorbachev, that's your business over there."

The video is worth a watch if, for nothing else, to see the outer limits of where the domestic debate of Iranian politics can go.