(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
These guys who are always worried about looking weak astound me. They must be very self-conscious to even care how weak we look to a country like Iran. How we look is somewhat irrelevant, if we are acting appropriately. This is more proof that the Republican leadership has no idea how to deal with the world. Not to mention he contradicts the very Christian ethics he professes to espouse.
Well, Mr. Boehner, your party has operated for many years without any plan other than sow fear, smear opponents, and vilify those who disagree with you. To hear you decry what you see as a lack of a plan is disingenuous to the point of hypocrisy.
Sitting down with Iran without preconditions? Well, thanks to your conservative lack of foreign policy, I am afraid we are reduced to this. Thanks, by the way, to the republican party for squandering in eight years the respect it took us 200 years to earn so that we are brought to this.
And, yes, Israel and Palestine are EQUALLY responsible for FINDING A SOLUTION. Don't try to be so cute with someone else's words and imply that Obama was saying Israelis were no better than terrorist. I am sure that's all the screeching monkey right wing punditocracy will hear, which is NOT what he said.
In other words, what we've BEEN doing has worked so WELL, why would anyone want to change it?
CNN I think you need to change your headline as "Boehner slams Obama" does not accurately capture the tone and content of Boehner's concerns.
How religous of Mr Boehner. Israel perfect, Palestinians bad. Now that will get us somehwere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I agree, obama needs to stop apologizing for us to any one and stop trying to sit down with madmen. These people respect only strength and force.Show them a sign of weakness and they go for your throat. They will use this attempt at friendship as a way to infiltrate and conquer.
John...you're a pig....you should leave your stupid comments to yourself.
I thought Republicans were big on the idea that criticism of a President ends at the water's edge.
Who cares if it makes us "look" weak. Everyone knows we have the most powerful military in the world. Like Obama said in his speech, our future isn't about one Nation dominating another, it is about mutual respect, finding common ground, and working together for peace, justice, and freedom for everyone.
Get over the ego please, it does nothing to reach these higher goals.
So your comments are a pathetic attempt to get the Israelis upset with President Obama, and the United States........ right??
They still haven't figured out the difference between sitting down with someone and making concessions. Dumb down the discussion, that's been the Reps' strategy for decades, and in case you haven't realized yet, it's showing a few signs of aging.
And now a word from our non-sponsors.... Stow it Boner! If he turns right, it should've been left, and vice-versa. He's not here to please you or gain your approval. He's here to handle things for Americans. I'd like to see a copy of YOUR birth certificate as I harbor serious doubts as where YOUR loyalties lie.
Obama seems very anti-Israel, and that is shocking. He's looking more like Jimmy Carter everyday.
Here we go Repubs, here we go
You people suck, yes you do
The final countdown begins ....4, 3, 2, 1
The Israelis have the right to defend themselves," he said
and pallestinians, apparently, do not have right to defend themselves...
Republican logic at its best....
Senator Bone head, you are an idiot. It was Isreal who moved in on their land and settled. How about I move in your house without your permission or compsensation and see how you like it.
Not talking to your enemies doesn't work as a kid so why would it work as a President?
Boehner has just shown all the reasons why he is not POTUS.
The world situation is complicated and complex; diplomacy is key.
Simple minded tool! This is not about placing blame but about moving forward. The President is leaps and bounds ahead of the likes of Bo.ner!
I guess it would just be too much to just say something positive....it had to have the GOP flavoring!
We are trying to get peace so we can stop loosing our men and women in wars that are not ours!!! I am tired of the US being the answer for everybody...let's get things solved so we can have a break! (even if it is 20 or 30 yrs from now)
Where is your budget you promised us Mr. Boner?
The Republcans will find fault with any speech Obama makes. I think he gave a great speech. I am very proud to have a President that is willing to reach out to the other countries with an open hand. That is much better than going at them with a clenched fist. John Boehner is a war monger like all the other Republicans. They are not happy unless we are t war with someone. They are all crazy!!
I think the mistake is Boehner thinking that he matters.....
Could anyone of you here on this blog try to Imagine a Republican going to Arab Countrys and speaking honestly.....?
Republicans make me embarrassed to be an American....
Not surprise from someone with a MINUS IQ........................
Did he hear the same speech I heard?!?