Raleigh, N.C. — Fourth District Democratic Congressman David Price talked about Iran, fast-track trade agreements and Hillary Clinton in an interview with WRAL News on Tuesday.
Price said he's trying to work to preserve the "framework" of the Obama administration's negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. Republicans have been criticizing the talks for weeks, and GOP congressional leaders panned the deal as unacceptable as soon as it was announced, even though many key details have yet to be worked out among the nations that are part of the negotiations, including Russia and China.
"I think it's a mistake to pre-judge it, to decide in advance that no deal is good enough, which almost seems to be what some people are saying. We're not going to have a perfect deal. We're not going to totally dismantle Iran's nuclear capability. We're not going to have them just unconditionally surrender," he said. "What we need to do is keep the pressure on, make sure they feel the bite of the sanctions and make sure they understand that not just to freeze their program, but to roll the program back, is what the international community requires in order to have the sanctions relief that they need and desire. That's what we're on the way, I think, to achieving.
"I want to keep us on course," he continued, "and for members of Congress to be passing resolutions that seem to indicate no confidence in our negotiators or to be laying down conditions as to what deal would be good enough, I don't think it's helpful at this point. It tends to undermine the whole process, and it tends to make the U.S. look like the offending partner."
On the president's request for fast-track authority for trade agreements, Price said his feelings are mixed. He said that, while it's not practical for Congress to try to negotiate every detail of a trade pact, he would like more interaction and transparency between administration officials and Congress as those agreements are put together.
Price also spoke in support of Clinton's expected candidacy for president in 2016, saying he "can't imagine anyone better qualified to be president." But he also conceded Clinton's use of a private email account during her time as secretary of state may have hurt her with some Democrats.
"There's some indication that it's raised questions with the public, and I think not lasting damage probably, but it was an odd decision, and I would say not a very wise decision to do what she did about the email," he said. "There's nothing illegal about it – nothing unprecedented about it for that matter – but I think I could wish she had handled it differently, and maybe she does, too.
"We need to fully understand what has gone on, what the implications of it are, the ways it can be corrected," he said. "I also think that we can't let this be used – shouldn't be let this be used – by Hillary Clinton's detractors simply as a way to beat up on her. We need to deal with it in a fair and objective manner, and I think most people are perfectly capable of doing that."