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. Louise in NC

    I lost all support and sympathy for Israel when they TORE GAZA ALL TO HELL. KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE WHO HAD NOWHERE TO HIDE!!!!–sure, their military dropped flyers telling the people of Gaza they were going to be in their area, BUT IF YOU HAVE NOWHERE TO HIDE, THEN YOU GET KILLED!!!! Have you also noticed that there are no world leaders paying visits to the Israeli government!!

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

    I agree. I too have concerns and they all revolve around the fact that I, as an American, want to be able to sleep at night knowing that I am safe and that this nation is secure . I am not feeling it. I believe that our President has, in fact, given the world the imprression that we are weak, that we will not fight and that we would rather cowtow and use kind words in an attempt to avoid an argument or war. Some people just refuse to talk and have a history of hate for all sorts of people. Some nations hate for the sake of hating and killing is not a problem but rather ordained by some God. Iran sponsors terrorism and terrorists. Iran has always done this and will always do this. Meeting with Iran to "talk diplomatically" is a waste of time. I fear that Obama hates this country as much as Iran does and it would explain his words and actions.

    June 4, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. GM from MN

    I just don't think the Israelis deserve to be put into the same playpen with terrorists."


    Apparently the GOP doesn't realize that the fight is on both sides.......so YES.........BOTH sides are to blame.......there are ruthless ones that kill on both sides.

    I say we tell Israel that we are going to pull the billions in funding that we give them every year unless they really put forth an effort towards reaching a peace deal.......just see how fast their heads spin.

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

    Sorry weak not week

    June 4, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. Jim

    It's a good thing that we have Obama leading our country and not someone like rep. Boehner. What a dope.

    June 4, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. Reggie

    Anyone that thinks Isreal has no blame in the conflict is kidding themselves or playing political games. Isreal is not just defending themselves. Part of the problem in the middle east with Isreal and America is that we also present ourselves as without fault and everyone else is so evil . . . .

    June 4, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. Doug, New Jersey

    Mr. Boehner, you cannot try to talk facts and reality to Democrats, they are beings controlled by hate, lies, ignorance, and jealousy.

    The average Democrat in America would rather see you Mr. Boehner as a republican die than a terrorist like Osama Bin Laden. When Democrats think like this, well actually are conditioned to regurgitate this pre programmed hate, there is no way to reason with them.

    There is a reason why murder, theft, rape, car insurance rates ETC are all much much higher per person in blue areas Vs red. Liberals are nasty, mean, dishonest people who truly have no regard for human life. Watch them talk about Iraq when they put American lives at risk each and every day with their liberalism on the roads and streets.

    June 4, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. Libby

    I hate to inform you, Rep. Boehner, but there are Israeli terrorist organizations as well. They just don't get a whole lot of attention in the American media – AIPAC has made sure of that. I wonder if the term "Zionism" means anything to Mr. Boehner.

    So... the Israelis have a right to defend themselves, but the Palestinians don't have the same rights? I have always been taught that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    June 4, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. Lucy

    Boehner just doesn't get it. The Bush tactics never did work. The Bush philosophy and practice is what made us weak. Boehner needs to hone up on his psychology.

    June 4, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. Steve L New Jersey

    Senator, the president was just saying there are two sides to every argument, and both sides need to get over the past and move forward. Suggest the republican party do the same, the election of 2008 is over, so how about working with this president for a change.

    June 4, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. nha4

    Big surprise another negative comment about President Obama for the GOPs big surprise. I swear I am so sick of the same old uneducated remarks from the GOPs can we just vote them all out and hope they disappear. Anyway shouldn't Beohner be working on his tan!

    June 4, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. Bob (Illinois)

    Give it a rest, Mr. Boehner. What positive contributions have *you* made or attempted to make which could quiet middle-east tensions? Where are *your* ideas? Where are the GOP ideas?

    If you don't believe that Israel is partly to blame for that mess then you are blind to the facts.

    June 4, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. Open Your 3rd Eye

    Let this guy remind you of yet another Republican lost in the wilderness.

    With all due respect Boehner, get your head out of your....

    Sir, there have been mistakes made on all sides of this conflict. I hope you are simply pandering to the Jewish vote, and don't actually believe what you just said.

    The Israeli government is not innocent of wrong doings toward Arabs, as the Arabs are not innocent of wrong doings just the same toward Jews.

    These incidents are well known.

    June 4, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. Jamara in Los Angeles

    Same ole slamming party. I'm so tired of hearing the same song!!!!

    June 4, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Day in the life of a CNN reporter: Step 1 – Type headline "GOP slams Obama on (fill in the blank)". Step 2 – Knock off early for lunch.

    June 4, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. Randolph Carter

    Stick it to 'em, Boner. You're always so hard on the democrats. Have a nice day!

    June 4, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. Susan L.

    More blindness from the Republicans. More beligerence. More bashing people over the head. What an idiot George Hamilton ... I mean John Boehner ... is. Your Cowboy ways are in the past now. We're not going to do things like Bush did. We've already seen how well that works. Not at all. We're going to try something different now. Feel free to continue being the Party of No, though! I'm loving how marginalized you Republicans are becoming!!! Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of guys.

    June 4, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. akfame

    Mr. Boehner it is a fact the israelis and palestinians are equally to blame for their current conditions they are living with. israel has a right to protect themselves and the same with the palestinians. As far as Iran goes there is no reason to go into talks with them with a set of preconditions hell if we don't like what we hear we can always walk away. But I forget you are a repub and repubs can't think outside of the box.

    June 4, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. John M in NoHo CA

    I was prepared to puke about whatever he had to say because he is pre-wired to obstruct everything Obama wants. Yet, I wouldn't call that "slamming" Obama. That was at least a legitimately phrased comment. However, we do have to stop automatically taking sides with Israel all the way, on everything. But Hamas isn't exactly a peaceful group either. Both sides need to give and both sides deserve to take.

    June 4, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. Gene from Georgia

    At a time when Ahmadinejad is looking at a possible defeat at the hands of moderates, Obama is playing it right. But God forbid the real possibility of that happening deny the Republicans their partisan bellicose sniping. I mean, let's keep our priorities straight, eh Boehner?

    June 4, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. PA Dem

    He didn't say or imply that at all. What I heard him say was that Isreal needs to recognize the right of Palestineans to have their own state and that indefinite occupation is wrong. He also said that Palestineans are bobming children in schools and old women on buses and that is terrorism and is inexcusable and must end! How does saying that or saying he will talk with Iran make us look weak? He didn't solve any problems today, but what he did do is open the door to communication...something which hasn't been done with Iran since 1979. Heaven forbid we actually try to get to the root of the problem and solve it thru diplomacy. We don't have to like each other or have tea on Sunday afternoons, but can we agree not to bomb one another?

    June 4, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. Jody

    Why is that when a Republican disagrees with Obama CNN says that he "slams" Obama. But when Obama disagrees with Cheney, CNN say that Obama "refuts" him. Way to be fair and un-biased as usuall CNN. Keep up the good work. (I bet this comment doesn't get posted)

    June 4, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. bill of rights

    President Pinocchio Obama is wrong again. Hamas, Hezbollah are filled with Terrorist. They are not freedom fighters they are terrorist. Iran and Syria support and fund these terrorist. Obama needs to wake up. He's niave, dumb and is not showing the America all Americans have grown to love. Obama has weakened America by his fiscal policys and his brown shirt groups like Acorn. Wake up America wheres the outrage, Where is the protests. Gas is almost $3.00 a gallon where is the outrage ? When Bush was president all Americans were screaming have we all become sheep and protest are no longer accepted. Americans need to wake up before the America we love is destroyed.

    June 4, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. Steve

    Or, maybe the Palestinians have a right to fight for the land that was stolen from them and handed over to European Jews at the end of World War II while they were pushed aside as lesser human beings. Hmm.

    June 4, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. Justice

    I dont understand this GOP people, do we look stronger when we dont talk to our enemies. I think that is stupid. It is important that we have a condition free conversation with them so they will know where we stand than just shun them and have them continue to do their evil acts of terror.

    June 4, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
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