Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Milwaukee Press Club 'Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism' 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023 Triple GOLD Award Recipients

HomeBreaking NewsWisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin's History of Going Soft on Iran Draws Renewed...

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin’s History of Going Soft on Iran Draws Renewed Scrunity


In 2012, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, then a U.S. Representative, “was against Iranian sanctions before she was for them.”

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin’s vote to give Iran access to billions of dollars in assets is back under scrutiny with news that Iran has attacked Israel. Her record of going soft on Iran for years by voting against sanctions is, too.

Baldwin, a Democrat running for re-election against businessman Eric Hovde, earned a “full flop” from Politifact in 2012 for toughening her stance against Iran at election time after years of voting AGAINST sanctions for the terrorist regime. Her then-opponent, former Gov. Tommy Thompson, accused her of having a “complete change of heart” at election time, and Politifact found evidence of that.

Hovde has also hammered Baldwin on Iran. “America must stand with Israel, our ally and the only democracy in the Middle East. It’s inconceivable that Pres. Biden negotiated a deal to release $6 billion to Iran, and Sen. Baldwin supported it,” he wrote after the Iranian drone attack against Israel.

“Failed policies have consequences.” Other Republicans also released statements reasserting their strong support for Israel.

Here we examine Baldwin’s history of soft stances against Iran. We’re largely using a series of Politifact “fact-checks” for this story because many conservatives generally believe the “fact-checking” site is left-leaning, whereas the media and many liberals trust it. Thus, we’re using Politifact’s own facts so they can’t so easily be batted away by the media or Baldwin supporters. Politifact’s own fact-checks have shown the following:

Tammy Baldwin Voted Against Major Efforts to Toughen Sanctions Against Iran Multiple Times

In 2012, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Baldwin, then a U.S. Representative, “was against Iranian sanctions before she was for them” and “received nearly $60,000 for her Senate bid from a group that says the American policy of imposing sanctions and trying to ‘publicly threaten and insult Iran’ does little more than strengthen the country’s hard-liners.”

The Journal Sentinel added, “From 2006 to 2011, Baldwin voted against the four biggest efforts to toughen sanctions against the Middle Eastern country.”

Three years after she won that election and became a U.S. Senator, Baldwin supported then-President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal that unfroze billions of dollars in Iranian assets.

According to Politifact, in 2015, “Baldwin did vote with other Democrats against a Republican effort to block then-President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. Republicans failed to get the 60 votes needed to block the deal.”

Here’s what Baldwin said in a press release at the time, “I’m proud that America led six countries toward an historic international agreement with Iran. I believe we are right to choose a path of international diplomacy to achieve our goal of verifiably preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”

According to Politifact, the value of the unfrozen Iranian assets was $56 billion (other estimates put the “readily available funds” at $29 million, at the minimum). The amount from the U.S., including interest, was $1.7 billion, Politifact reported. Politifact noted, “Many news organizations reported the delivery of the $400 million in an unmarked cargo plane after American officials were certain that three Americans held in Iran were on their way home.”

Politifact previously confirmed, “As part of the deal, Iran did get access to tens of billions of dollars in assets — but the vast majority of those assets are Iran’s own money.” The deal, which was scuttled by President Donald Trump, was an attempt to stop Iran’s nuclear program, Politifact reported.

Tammy Baldwin Urged President Joe Biden to Rejoin the Iran Deal in 2021

In fact, a press release from Baldwin’s office in 2021 indicates that she joined other senators in pressuring President Joe Biden to rejoin the Iran deal. The letter she signed it called it “values-based foreign policy.” The letter criticized what it called Trump’s “‘maximum pressure’ strategy” against Iran.

In the letter, Baldwin and other Democratic senators also criticized Trump for banning Iranians from traveling to the U.S. and stopping COVID-19-related aid from going to Iran.

President Biden followed heed, unfreezing $6 billion in Iranian assets.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel previously reported that $6 billion “in now un-frozen funds stems from the United States’ 2018 withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal under former President Donald Trump.” According to Politifact , that $6 billion was frozen in Qatar and never made it to Iran, however.

Politifact noted, “The deal, made by President Joe Biden, secured freedom for five U.S. citizens detained in Iran in exchange for allowing the country to access $6 billion of its own funds.” According to Politifact, the funds were frozen “Iranian oil revenue,” and were supposed to be limited for “humanitarian purpose,” although experts raised questions about whether that would really be the case.

According to Politifact, in a November 2023 article, “Baldwin voted for the Iran nuclear deal in 2015 and an agreement to return U.S. prisoners held by Iran in August 2023, both agreements unfroze Iranian funds held in foreign banks due to sanctions.”

In October, while running for re-election, and after the Hamas terror attack on Israel, Baldwin called for the Iranian assets to be frozen again.

Tammy Baldwin’s Other Iranian Issues

In August 2023, Baldwin was photographed “with a California activist who has accused Israel of ‘ethnic cleansing’ and apartheid,” WRN previously reported.

We also previously reported that Baldwin had caved to pro Gaza protesters’ demands for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

She once wrote a gushing letter of support to a pro-Islamic rights group that now blames Israel for the Hamas terrorist attack in which women, men, and children were murdered and horrific rapes occurred.

Wisconsin’s Republican Leaders Condemn Iran

Former Lt. Gov. candidate Roger Roth, a Republican candidate for the 8th Wisconsin Congressional District, has served 20 years in the Wisconsin Air National Guard, including four tours in the Middle East. He joined other Republican leaders in the state in condemning Iran’s attack on Israel.

“Joe Biden’s weakness, indecision, and appeasement of our adversaries has failed time and time again. It’s resulted in the death of our service members and has invited this attack on one of our closest allies. The U.S. must stand with Israel in the face of this barbaric attack,” Roth said.

Republican Congressman Derrick Van Orden, a former Navy SEAL, wrote, “Iran was emboldened to attack Israel with drones and missiles for the first time as a direct result of President Biden’s strategic weakness on the global stage and after he turned his back on our closest ally in the region in recent weeks. The Biden administration has given billions of dollars to Iran and their proxies including the terrorist organization Hamas, who is holding American hostages in Gaza.”

He added, “House Democrats have recently called for ceasing military aid to Israel and Chuck Schumer has called for the removal of the Israeli government. We saw it when Biden abandoned Americans in the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, when he delayed sanctions on the Nord Stream pipeline, which assisted Russia in their invasion of Ukraine, and his lack of urgency to rescue the American hostages being held in Gaza. Bottom line: The world is a much more dangerous place under President Biden. My prayers are with the Israeli people and our hostages being held by savages.”

Added Van Orden: “I call upon the leadership of the House to call my colleagues to Washington, D.C. and immediately pass a standalone, emergency aid package for Israel to prevent the destruction of our greatest ally in the Middle East.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany wrote, “I stand with Israel. 🇮🇱”

U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, also a Republican, wrote, “Israel is once again under attack. We must stand with our ally. 🇺🇸 🇮🇱 ”

Baldwin, running for re-election again, joined them with a “sound-tough statement,” writing, “The United States firmly stands with Israel in the face of these Iranian attacks and support their right to defend themselves. My thoughts are with the Israeli people and I will continue to monitor the unfolding situation.” Unlike some of the Republicans, her statement did not use “I” or “we” but rather referred to the country.

But her voting record tells a different tale.


Latest Articles