June 4th, 2009
03:31 PM ET
5 years ago

Boehner slams Obama comments on Israel-Palestine, Iran

Boehner said he was concerned the president seemed to 'place equal blame on the Israelis and the Palestinians.'
Boehner said he was concerned the president seemed to 'place equal blame on the Israelis and the Palestinians.'

(CNN)–House Republican leader John Boehner on Thursday praised the tone of President Obama's address in Cairo but slammed the president's remarks on Israel and Palestine, and on engagement with Iran.

"I think the president delivered a thoughtful and optimistic speech, but I do have some concerns about some things that were mentioned in the speech," he said.

Boehner said he was concerned the president seemed to "place equal blame on the Israelis and the Palestinians."

"The Israelis have the right to defend themselves," he said "....Because Hamas is a terrorist organization, they have been funded by the Syrians and the Iranians, and I just don't think the Israelis deserve to be put into the same playpen with terrorists."

Obama's comments about Iran were a mistake, Boehner said.

"His point about Iran, where he continues to say that he will sit down with the Iranians without any preconditions - I just think that puts us in a position where America looks weak in the eyes of their rulers," Boehner said. "And given the outrageous statements that their leaders have made, I don't know how we can continue to say that we'll sit down and talk to them without some, without conditions. I think it makes America look weak."

Boehner also criticized the president for saying he wanted to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility "without having a plan in place for what to do with those detainees that are there."

–CNN's Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report


Filed under: John Boehner • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Renee from Seattle, WA

    I guess if the Repugs have to come up with something negitive in his heartfelt speech.

    June 4, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. Raw0523

    Basically Israel has withdrawn from Gaza and left it to Hamas, while expanding settlements in the west bank which is not governed by a terrorist organization. Unintentionally they have rewarded terror and punished moderation. This is an historic opportunity to pull back in the west bank and create a moderate Palistinian state. They could arrange a 100 year lease for some settlements like Britan did with Hong Kong.

    June 4, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. Jim

    too many republicans will ALWAYS have something bad to say about virtually any democrat's words.

    at least in recent history.

    they still claim to be trying to work across the aisle, but all they really do is fight.

    June 4, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. HELEN COLES

    I just wish that the Gop would settle down, and stop critisizing the President on every thing he says or do. if you don't like what he said keep quiet. Remember you have had your eight years.

    June 4, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. Cindy

    What else did you expect the TAN man to say? I know you didn't expect for him to say "good job Mr. President" because the GOP cannot say a good word about anything that PRESIDENT Obama says or does. It;s either their way or no way. These people are a disgrace to the USA!!!

    June 4, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  6. Deb

    What a malcontent and embarrasement. It's getting harder everyday to remain a Republican.

    June 4, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. Bill in San Jose

    Who cares what this stale piece of rye has to say, where are his ideas?! There aren't any, only criticism of others. People of Ohio, vote this doddering orange clown out of office!

    June 4, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. Mike in TX

    I wonder how many Jewish supporters this guy has?

    June 4, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. Kevin -- Evansville, Indiana

    Weakness is not when you are hesitant to shove a weapon in someone's face. Weakness is not a willingness to debate ideas. Weakness is when you have no ideas and only complain.

    June 4, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. smoothoperator

    Here we go again; the speech will not please all the extremists...from the Taliban to the NOP, no surprises here

    June 4, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  11. HopefulMD

    Mr. Boehner, in the name of God, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU???? May God PLEASE help you....

    June 4, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. Mark from Kansas City

    It takes two to make a fight. The GOP always absolve israel of all wrong doing. The way they treat Israel, you'd think Jesus was the PM.

    June 4, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Cathy in AZ

    Typical fear response from the GOP! I believe Rep Boehner is missing the point which should surprise no one!

    June 4, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. Olivia

    Always easy to criticize one small aspect of a reconciliatory speech. This narrow minded approach led to more hatred and no progress on the issue.

    June 4, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  15. BRIAN

    John Boehner should take a trip to the middle east,but with out some church group whose butt he is kissing and he will see there is enough blame to share for everybody.

    June 4, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. Blue State Virginian

    Would the Party of No (GOPhers) please go back under their rock. Their actions have resulted in the dismantling of US/Foreign relations and they continue to have nothing intelligent to say.

    June 4, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  17. Scott from St. Charles

    Boooehner OLD GOP, the party of let's keep doing what has not worked for 60 years!!!!!!!

    June 4, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. ArmyVet

    I think most people agree that Israel has been given free reign in the region for far too long. We all feel sorry for the Final Solution but who can't see that it has been used by the right in Isreal to commit crimes and then claim that "look what happened to us in WWII." All of us are tired of this and those who study the matter understand that there are far-right, religous radicals on the Israeli side aswell. Whether you are a Christian zealot or a Muslim zealot or a Jewish zealot, we are tired of your war-mongering.

    June 4, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  19. Kimberly

    Obama is 100% correct! Unlike boner he is not playing politics, he is being honest in saying isreal is at fault here as well. Only a FOOL would say other wise! But of course boner is a goper and has no need for facts, just politics!

    June 4, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  20. republicans hate america

    oh so shocking what else is new

    June 4, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. Republican not buying it..

    Boehner is exactly the kind of narrow-minded politician that slows true progress and promotes politics of fear. Vote this re-tread out of office.

    June 4, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  22. Dean in PA

    typical sore-loser rhetoric from the Repugnican leader (if you can call him that)

    June 4, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  23. jim in Minnesota

    Your headline says Mr. Boehneer had a much stronger reaction to the President's speech than what he actually did. Tone down the rhetoric! PLEASE!

    June 4, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  24. mike

    Maybe he ought to read up on how the Israelis convinced the Brits to give them Palastine in the first place and convinced the Arab population to leave.

    June 4, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. Jared

    Why are Boehner and others so afraid to talk to the Iranians? What a bunch of wimps!

    June 4, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
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