B²: Iran and President Obama

The clock is ticking. As of yesterday, the Senate has 60 days to give a thumbs up or thumbs down on the deal with Iran, or what is formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

With many democrats on the fence, republicans digging in their heels, 2016 around the corner, and veto threats from the President and Congress alike, we’re headed into the talking point version of the dog days of summer. No doubt reporters will try to drag you into the political theatre.

Do you know how to answer questions about the deal without making personal attacks against the President?

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here is this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

Q: “The President said this is an “historic” deal and has called out his critics who think otherwise. Isn’t this deal better than no deal?”

: “Negotiating with Iran is without a doubt a tough job, but there are legitimate reasons why people, including those in the President’s own party, have raised concerns. Any deal with Iran should <insert talking point>.”

Wherever you take the conversation next, it is always helpful to start with common ground. In this case, the common ground is found in acknowledging how difficult it must be to negotiate with Iran. Then, you turn to the concerns raised by such a deal. Remember: your case is made stronger if you can bring in people who normally side with the president. Last, bridge to your talking point that must include a solution. It isn’t enough to say why this is bad without offering what is best.