Several Democratic Party candidates for president were criticized for remaining silent on mass demonstrations that shifted blame away from the U.S. president and targeted the Iranian regime instead.
Initially only former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) responded to media reports that Iranian police and security forces had opened fire on protesters because they opposed the Iranian mullah regime’s accidental missile attack against Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 in the capitol Tehran.
“So far Biden is the only major Dem candidate to tweet out a statement supporting protests against the Iranian regime,” Politico Chief Washington Correspondent Ryan Lizza said on Twitter. “Nothing in the Twitter feeds of [Sen. Bernie] Sanders, [Sen. Elizabeth] Warren, [South Bend Mayor Pete] Buttigieg, Klobuchar, despite all of them previously championing democracy promotion/anti-authoritarianism abroad.”
Biden had expressed he had no “illusions” about the Iranian regime and its people, and they had the “right to peaceful protest.”
“The world should support them,” he said on Twitter.
Klobuchar posted a much shorter message that generally supported the universal right of all to hold a peaceful protest.
“People should have the right to peacefully protest in any country including Iran,” Klobuchar said on Twitter.
New York Magazine contributor Yashar Ali also noticed several “active and prominent liberal” figures were strangely silent about the protests.
“I have gone through some of the most active and prominent liberal Twitter accounts and none of them mentioned the Iran protests,” he said on Twitter. “These same people were actively tweeting about wanting to avoid war and attacking Trump for his decision. What happened?”
However, it took several more hours of media scrutiny before Sanders finally reaffirmed his commitment to peaceful protest without fear of violence.
“I call upon the Iranian government to respect that right,” he said on Twitter. “The Iranian people’s future is theirs to determine and I stand with all who seek a future of peace, dignity, and equality.”
Warren was arguably the last Democratic presidential candidate to support the right of the Iranian people to a peaceful protest against their “corrupt government” and claimed this protest had nothing to do with the United States.
“This is not about us,” she said on Twitter. “We should support them, including by lifting the Muslim ban–not try to engineer regime change or recklessly risk a war.”
Buttigieg did not post any statement to Twitter at the time of publication.
The delayed response left Ali, who Fox News claimed to be of Iranian descent, with the impression that the Iranian protests were an “inconvenient” truth for some Democrats who had planned to use the political unrest to advance their careers.
“They were placing the blame on the Iranian leadership who lied repeatedly about what happened,” the contributor said on Twitter. “They were not blaming President Trump … so it was not worth it to bring attention to or support them?”