June 4th, 2009
03:31 PM ET
6 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. Mike in LR

    Agreed. The people of Israel endure rocket attacks that kill, maim, and wound, innocent civilians at the hands of Palestinians and BO says nothing. Then he plays up the poor Palestinians. He has lied again. He said clearly that the U.S. would continue its Israeli policy while he was in office before being elected. No surprise!

    June 4, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. Douglas Bowker

    What would we expect from the Party of No? Not much...

    June 4, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. G

    I am shock! lol. Oh well who cares what he says it doesn't matter in the larger scheme of things when you really think about it.

    June 4, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. ComicPro

    Boehner will always have something negative to say and his remarks are based on the old way of doing business along wiht the way GWB ran the White House. Great speech Mr. President and continue on your journey of a different path!

    June 4, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  5. Kenyan Wonder Kid

    We all know that Islam and Muslims are at the core of ALMOST EVERY international and civil war (Palestine-Israel; Pakistan-India; Iran-Iraq (different religious factions); Turkey-Armenia; Bosnia-Serbia; Algeria; Egypt; Nigeria; Sudan; Afghanistan; Syria; Libya; Philippines; Indonesia; etc.), as well as creating enormous problems/violence in the US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, and even Denmark. America has spilt much military blood and spent billions to protect and support muslims in many of the above situations, even as they were at fault.

    Therefore, why is our idiot president apolgizing profusely and blaming past administrations for behaving so badly. I don't hear a single apology or reciprocal statement from anyone in the Islamic world. I only hear "WE WANT MORE!". To hell with them and our muslim president.

    June 4, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  6. George Guadiane Austerlitz, NY

    "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."

    I agree with a REPUBLICAN???
    I AGREE with a REPUBLICAN!!!

    It's a sign of hope!

    June 4, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. Texico

    Ok I have one question to ask....Is the GOP's 15 minutes up yet? God I hate right wing commies. Always running around trying to control everyone and everything! I can't wait until another Obama win in 2012 and a Clinton win in 2016.

    June 4, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  8. RC toronto

    This is what the world hears. Israel has a right to defend itself and while at it , has a right to offend too.. ??

    Only real friends tell each of their faults. Obama is doing the right thing. You're just frustrated why Bush wasn't as smart. This is why Republican brand in the toilet.

    June 4, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  9. Independent in Virginia

    All he did was list concerns he had with a few specific issues, and he explained those concerns rather than the GOP's usual "this is terrible!!" response...that's considered a "slam"?

    I guess criticizing a policy/issue is no longer allowed...

    June 4, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  10. Connor

    Once again, the GOP has nothing useful to add?

    June 4, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  11. Jay

    Israel is worse than the Palestinians by far. Israel is just like the old South Africa – Bunch of Europeans coming in and taking over someone else's land. I feel bad about what the Nazis did to the Jews during WW2 but that does not justify Israel turning around and taking it out on the Palestinians.

    June 4, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. A Christian Ally

    Long live Israel.

    June 4, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  13. baloneybuster

    The man is a buffoon.
    A total, complete buffoon.

    June 4, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  14. david, CA

    "I do have some concerns" about Boner's ability to carefully listen and understand what the President is actually saying, rather than do what Republicans do all the time which is to mischaracterize, misrepresent, misappropriate meaning, misinterpret, and otherwise misinform themselves and others for crass political purposes.

    June 4, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. Edwin

    Apparently to this idiot The US being fair, just and not pig headed is equal to America looking weak. This moron is still drinking the Bush Kool Aid.

    June 4, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. Enforcement

    Your headline grossly exaggerates Rep. Boehner's comments. Boehner agreed with some of the speech, but disagreed with other parts and voiced his concerns. That CNN would characterize these criticisms as a "slam" speaks volumes of its own motives rather than Boehner's.

    June 4, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. Neel Hammond

    "Leaders" like Mr. Boehner have made peace between Israel and Palistine impossible by their bias. In order to lead these 2 peoples out of war and the threat of war, Obama suggests that we look at both positions, the arguments of both the powerful and the displaced. For the last decade "leaders" like Mr. Boehner have sided with the powerful on every occasion, foreign and domestic. Thankfully, Mr. Boehner can work on his sun tan rather than setting important policy for the next 4+ years.

    June 4, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. George

    I listened to the speech and read most of the transcript and do not see where the President in any way explicitly or implicitly mentioned that the "Israelis deserve to be put into the same playpen with terrorists". That is the type of comment made by a leading Republican that makes the party lose credibility. It appears to me that Boehner underestimates the intelligence and awareness of history of members of his own party–or does he?

    June 4, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. tony

    Stop kissing up to Israel for their crimes committed to Palestine.
    Stop excusing Israel for their killing innocent people.
    Mr Boehner needs to know who the real killers are in the region, it was Israel who instigated this wa, it is Israel who is occupying Palestinian land, it is Israel who is bombin the innocent cities in Palestine. The leader of party of NO will NEVER have kinds words for Obama so people should just stop asking them questions and not bother what they think. GOP is a minority anyway so really any statements coming from their leadership will only please small minority.

    June 4, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  20. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Bonehead Boehner is back in the spotlight with nothing to say as usual.

    June 4, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  21. Bob in Apalachin NY

    It doesn't make us look week you war mongering idiot. It makes us look like we would engage in a dialogue to reduce nuclear proliferation. Perhaps through this dialogue we will convince the Iranian leaders that nuclear exploration is not in their best interests. Obama is trying to promote peace in this region of the world. We learned over the last eight years that the failed Bush policies just don't work.

    June 4, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. fmjk

    Isn't the headline "slam" a little strong for this? Why does CNN.com seem to feel the need to stoke partisan flames? Could it be so that the stoked up viewers will keep watching the vitriol that passes for news in the evening?

    June 4, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. Anthony R. Seta

    Small words coming from a small mind. This is the GOPs attempt to gain the Jewish vote. That's it.

    Obama's remarks in regards to Iran are cleverly intended to influence the coming election in Iran via soft power. It may work, it may not. But this aspect of shrewd diplomacy is a concept that Boehner's brain can not and will never comprehend.

    June 4, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. marlene

    Rep. Boehner and the GOP are the ones with the problem in America. Pres. Obama, during the election, promised to have a dialog with foreign countries. He has been full filling that promise, since January 2009. The GOP lost the election in 2008. Your way didn't work and over 5,000 soldiers have lost their lives, because the GOP thinks their way is the best. It is time for CHANGE!

    June 4, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  25. Sue

    "I think it makes America look weak." Ah yes, the Republican political Viagra syndrome–appearing weak. Everybody in the real world knows America is NOT weak. We have the biggest military, the most nukes, and a past that shows we use them. Boehner's opinion rings hollow and false. Better to know thy enemy than not, thus engage the enemy–as well as the ally.

    June 4, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
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