CNN Turns to Blumenthal on Egypt Presidential Election; He Calls Contest ‘Progress’

When CNN producers wanted to get experts’ viewpoints on the results of the Egyptian presidential election, they turned to Connecticut US Sen. Richard Blumenthal. Blumenthal was in Egypt in February as part of a bipartisan US delegation led by Sen. John McCain. CNN’s Candy Crowley anchored “breaking news” segments Sunday morning and tapped Blumenthal who was on via telephone from Danbury, according to a graphic shown during his comments.

Blumenthal was generally positive that a winner was chosen by popular vote, not by the military. “The election is progress for the democracy movement,” he said. He went on to warn that the military will not give up power easily. He added that the administration of new President Mohamed Morsi needs to show that it is interested in “real economic reform” and that it “will build partnerships with secular groups.” Morsi is the head of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Meanwhile, there is real concern about Morsi given his past comments. FOX News posted a series of statements attributed to Morsi including:

“Egypt’s Constitution should be based on the Koran and Sharia law.”
“The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal.”
“Today Egypt is close as never before to the triumph of Islam at all the state levels.”
“Today we can establish Sharia law because our nation will acquire well-being only with Islam and Sharia. The Muslim Brothers and the Freedom and Justice Party will be the conductors of these goals.”

However, since the results were announced, Morsi has said his government will abide by all international treaties (which one would assume includes the peace treaty with Israel); govern for all Egyptians including the protection of Christians, women and children. President Obama called Morsi to congratulate him on his victory.

The US has a big hammer for leverage—$1.3 billion in annual aid to Egypt.