Fox News viewers were unimpressed with Sen. Rand Paul’s ambiguous comments on Iran sanctions during Monday night’s Special Report panel, according to real-time response data measured by Bing Pulse during the program’s broadcast.
Paul’s rating dropped among all categories measured—men, women, Democrats, Republicans and independents—when he evaded a question about whether he would support the latest round of Iran sanctions being considered by the Senate.
“I haven’t seen what the sanctions are yet, but what I would say is that I am a little bit concerned about having new sanctions in the middle of negotiations,” said Paul.
He added that “there’s at least a reasonable argument that adding new sanctions, and I’ve supported every one of the sanctions so far, but adding new sanctions in the middle of a negotiation, whether that’s a good idea or not or whether that scares [Iran] away from the table.”
Fox News politics editor Chris Stirewalt noted the disagreement from viewers in his Fox News First newsletter on Tuesday.
“With a possible U.S. brokered deal on Iran’s nuclear program and a call for increased sanctions in the news, all political parties and genders disagreed with Paul’s claim that he couldn’t rightly say what to do because he is not privy to the administration’s plan,” wrote Stirewalt. “Women agreed significantly more than men with Paul’s comment that he would not let Iran have a nuke.”
When Krauthammer pressed Paul on whether he would authorize military force against Iran if other options fail, Paul said “all options would be on the table and that would include military.” He said this would also include future sanctions, but “in the midst of negotiations, [sanctions are] a mistake.”
Paul also said containing a nuclear Iran, “shouldn’t be our policy at this point in time,” but that he would be open to it in the future.
“[Containment] shouldn’t be our policy. But I don’t think we should also say the extension of that, that we will never have containment as a policy. Containment actually, for 70 years, was a great policy,” said Paul.