June 4th, 2009
03:31 PM ET
9 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. Bill Williams

    Dude, is anyone still listening to you?

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

    Wow CNN the man said he had concerns. Doesn't really constitute a slam. Way to hype it up....

    June 4, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. smallgovt

    on the contrary mr. boehner, i think it is a position of confidence, not weakness

    June 4, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. Bev

    Obama is walking down a very, very dangerous Jimmy Carter path and given what we have had to deal with since those times...I pray that the situation does not exacerbate into something even worse. Obama is very arrogant if he thinks he can go over to the Middle East with his teleprompter speeches and "change the world".

    June 4, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Marry

    Always so very amazing with how little imagination the GOP goes about politics. Should not be really noteworthy, if it did not negatively affect the lives of so many people. Within the US, but also around the world.
    Here the president does something of real greatness. And he is believable because it is intelligent and comes from the heart!
    Congratulation President Obama! What you said was absolutely correct and the way you said it will open you many hearts that where in despair! Now the American people have to stand behind you to make it work.

    June 4, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. David

    Boehner is a rheumy-eyed pompous ass who looks like he drinks way too much to be in any position to be a leader of any party. The Republicans just can't stand it that Obama is actually a great, great president already. They are so flustered by this reality. Now, if the Democrats can just get control of, or rid of, Reid and Pelosi, we might actually watch with our own eyes Obama become the greatest president in our history.

    June 4, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. Steve

    As if the GOP have a better idea.

    I like that Obama is trying something new. What's the definition of "Insanity" ? – "When you keep doing the same thing over and over expecting differant results".

    Tit-for-Tat is childs play!

    June 4, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  8. Jeff

    All I hear from Republicans is how sitting down with our enemies, without precondition, makes us look weak. I would actually, just once, like to hear a Republican answer on how this actually does make us look weak. I know Boehner has the time to think of his answer, he can ponder his thoughts while laying in the tanning bed.

    June 4, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  9. Adam in Colorado

    The press sure likes to use the word "slam" a lot, even to replace the word "disagrees". From what I read, it sure doesn't sound like Boehner "slammed" the speech.
    That was a great speech. I hope that the transcript is printed and distributed throughout the middle east.

    June 4, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  10. republicans hate america

    yes and Israel is funded by Americans

    June 4, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. aware530

    This is the problem with the world today "I don't like them because they don't think the way I think or believe what I believe...so I'm going to try and change that by killing!" Which seems to get people no where. You would have thought people would catch on to this pattern by now, especially Americans! It seems like people are thinking with emotion and not logic. President. Obama is doing an excellent job showing people that we can have difference but we don't have to kill one another to make a greater point.

    June 4, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  12. Tom Bachman

    CNN's use of the word "slams" is garbage.....Boehner's comments were simple disagreements on policies, without making any attacks on the speech OR the President.
    No wonder reasonable dialoue is absent, the idiot media keeps fanning the flames of anger and resentment.

    June 4, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. Eddie B.

    Of course he is going to slam Barack's speech. The Republicans have a clear strategy to refute "everything" Barack does or says. It is really sad when you consider that Barack's speech was wonderful and it is what people in the Muslim world need to hear to start repairing some relations.

    June 4, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. Glenn Doty, Columbia, SC


    Didn't this entire "talking to people makes us look weak" BS utterly fail? In fact it failed both as a national policy and as a dumb campaign stunt.

    It doesn't show strength when you won't talk to someone "until he apologizes" or any other precondition... it makes you look childish, petulant, and silly.

    I for one am tired that America no longer behaves the way the republicans want it too... I'm not that big of a fan of tantrum-throwing children.

    June 4, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. Fenarkleman

    How believable is a guy who claims he got as tan as he is from walking outdoors in Ohio...in March. Yeah, right.

    June 4, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. Nick 27, So Cal

    Mr. Boehner looks weak because he has no confidence in our country or solutions for us! Oh my god.. America wants to talk with our adversaries instead of blowing them up!! The bully tactic only works when people are afraid of you.. The world is changing and the same old Republican answer of "I wont talk to you if I don't like you.. then I will kill you" doesn't work! It just makes us look ignorant, intolerant and STUPID!

    June 4, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  17. rdh

    CNN Headlines: "GOP House Leader rips Obama's speech and "Boehner slams Obama comments"!!!!! Neither are which even remotely true. Why don't you just report the news rather than injecting your ignorant views.

    June 4, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. Christopher

    Obama's speech was grand, nuanced and forward-looking. Boehner's comments were small-minded and provincial. What a great contrast between the current respective states of America's two political parties.

    June 4, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. eric

    He has no clues. He better shut his mouth, and wash how the President is leading the world. People of Palestine are also human and they deserve Peace as well
    Shame of you Boehner

    June 4, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. SJB

    We were waiting to see which republican would be the first to stand up for "poor Israel." The Israeli's have been at the root of practically EVERY major problem the U.S. has had to deal with for decades. Now, for the first time, a U.S. president doesn't suck up to Israel, and here come the OLD HEAD republicans to their defense. PATHETIC!

    June 4, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. Had It

    All the republicans offer is bullying. I'm so tired of it.

    June 4, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. Rush Rove Cheney

    Pander to the right Boehner....go have another drink...you slob!

    What else can anyone expect from the party of NO. Useless drivel from the GOP!!

    What did Bush get done with these people....NOTHING!!!!

    Give the new president a chance

    June 4, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  23. jrzshor

    this is a new age. the politics of old are now dead and buried.

    get used to having things "change". 'cause obama is new world order.

    June 4, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  24. Protus Nyongesa

    Why are some Americans so so negative? like this gentleman. Give your President credit where it is due.

    June 4, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  25. Alex

    That's the whole problem with conservatives. They never want to shed a light of blame on the Israelis, but Israel has been a bully all along with the Palestinians. All of the conservative rhetoric is the same and their policy hasn't worked. Obama is trying a different strategy and since he took office we already have relations throughout the world.

    June 4, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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