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. Willie Kilpatrick

    I would have so much more respect for the Christian right if they could for once give credit where credit is due without always finding fault. I'm a christian who is considering other options if this what it means to be a christian. Critism at every turn. I was no fan of George Bush, but at least I found some good in the mand. This is sad and I pray the republicans lose every election for the next 20 years. That will be a good slap of reality.

    June 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. Lint

    Congressman Boehner had to say these things as the unfortunate voice of a party without good alternatives. I feel for the guy.

    June 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. Gary Jaussaud

    Gary's comment is:

    John Boehner seems never have anything good to say about much
    of anything, and that is ok, however I just once wish he would come
    up with a new idea of his own, not just bash President Obama because he can. I would love to hear how he would handle the World
    and domestic problems of this country, then we could ask him some
    questions and perhaps bash him.

    June 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  4. RICO

    I don't think it makes us look weak to sit and talk about our differences without making demands that another must first follow. Doesn't that defeat the point of having the meeting? Also with the Israel, and Palestine deal. Yes Hamas are terrorist, but don't think Isreal is an innocent child either. Israel had done its share of bulling and terrorizing the innocent Palestinean people just like Hamas has done. Development in the West Banks are not right, but yet Israel continues to do so. If Canada, decided to start building settlements lets say Alaska, or any other bordering state, there would be a lot of angry people. A 2 state solution is the best action to take at this point.

    June 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  5. Luke

    This goes to prove that you only hear what you want to hear.

    Does Senator Boehner have a better idea than trying to start a dialogue on equal ground, or should we continue with the no win situation that has been commonplace in that part of the world for decades now. It is definitely time for a "New Beginning" and a "Time for Change".

    June 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. Allan

    That's funny. With the exit by Arlen Spector, there's only one Jewish Republican left in the entire Congress – Eric Cantor.

    I wonder why Republicans love Israel so much in the abstract, but don't welcome Jews in their party.

    June 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. Rene

    See...i just switched over to an honest and positive news website MSNBC, and their headlines read "Arabs see positive shift in Obama's speech"...all you CNN and republican morons want to just focus on crap that's spewed out by a guy who has a fake tan! we need to remove CNN and all these old farty white men out of office!

    June 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. Cynthia - Arkansas

    Who would expect anything else? No solutions, just sit around and criticize.

    June 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  9. patNY

    What about the rule not bad mouthing the president when he's over seas? The Dems got blasted for violating that rule of etiquette when Bush was embarrassing us all over the world. Boehner needs to just shut up, remember who won in november, that it was a repudiation of all that his party stands for, and go back to his tanning booth.

    June 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  10. once upon a horse

    why is it when a Republican disagrees with the president (like they so often tend to do) it's listed as a SLAM?? I think we know by now that a Republican can NOT totally agree with Mr. Obama for fear that they will be called not "real" Republicans by old you-know-who!

    June 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. JDog

    Right, Boehner, the first and most crucial issue for our foreign policy is whether we look weak or not. Because, #1, it's important not to look weak, right? I mean, that is really super-important. And #2, the "we need to look strong" tactic has worked so terrifically in the past 8 years. "Your old road is rapidly aging, please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand, oh the times, they are a-changing"– thank God!

    June 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. vindicated liberal

    We need to cut Israel loose. I fail to understand how they have become such a sacred cow. Their lobby AIPAC has bought congress and I would be surprised if Libermann isn't getting paid more by them than the US government. The american media also presents a very distorted view of Iseael. They have committed war crimes used illegal weapons that we have supplied them. Killed women and children with impunity.

    June 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. DavenP

    I think it is time for Mr. Boehner to retire to the funny farm in Ohio. The stress is obviously too much for him. Just look at his expression – not one of a very stable person.

    June 4, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. commonsense

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

    And????

    June 4, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. Reality

    Bonner is an idiot !!! I think he's spent too much time in the tanning bed

    June 4, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. "HURRAH" the speech

    Obama: "Solving problems not my forte, but long speech is" !

    During the election Obama via his campaign accused former
    Pres Bush of playing the fear-card and Pres Clinton playing the race-card...but look at it, now, Pres Obama playing a deck of cards pulling out the right card that suits the moment....:Why"

    Because this man is long on speech and short on solutions...!!!!

    June 4, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. AlanBTR

    Yes, it makes much more sense to puff out our chests and hold our arms beside our bodies as if we have guns in holsters wrapped around our waists- and tell everybody who disagrees with us that they are evil. That makes much more sense! NOT!

    June 4, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Concerned citizen

    Can you please explain to me how Boehner's comments qualify as a "slam"? Seems excessive to me and misrepresent the tone of the comments.

    Thanks for flaming the partisan fire.

    June 4, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. erik

    The headline says "Slams" Obama. Seems to me he is just being a responsible member of congress questioning some of the presidents methods. Talk about putting spin in the headline.

    June 4, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    I would like to know where it is written where the United Stated has to at all cost to defend Israel. President Obama said it right "place equal blame on the Israelis and the Palestinians."

    June 4, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. RB in FL

    Obama can't even sneeze without Boehner, Rush, O'Rielly, and others jumping on him. They sound like a bunch of whining little girls.

    June 4, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. Dale

    I guess we know where Boehner's biases lie.

    Yes, Israel have been victims. But they are not innocent. Building settlements encroaching on other's land is as much an act of war as Hamas firing rockets into Israel. In that conflict, there are bad guys on both sides.

    Both sides must make concessions if there is to be peace. But cooler heads will prevail, and right now the coolest one around is Mr. President Obama.

    June 4, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  23. Chris

    I really can't belive this guy is still in a position of leadership in this country. People like him DON'T GET IT!!! There is equal blame on the israelies and Palestinians and although we may not agree with it, but they voted for Hamas. In regards to Iran tell me how sitting down to talk is looking weak? Our country will never look or be weak in any countries eyes.

    June 4, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  24. Jon

    Because the Bush plan for dealing with Iran worked so well? The American people think it's time to try something other than the Bush/Cheney/Limbaugh approach, which has proven to be a total failure.

    June 4, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  25. Sham

    Exactly Boenhn-head, That's precisely what the President said verbatim at least in your mind.... If I got a nickel for every time i've heard a republican say "I'm concerned with..." I'd be rich enough to be a republican and also be able to sell out and turn my back on anything that isn't rich or to the betterment of the rich.....

    June 4, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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