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. Shadysider

    It sounds like Boehnner wants to play the continued stand-off game that Bush started. If you continually threaten a country they are going to arm themselves. As long as people are talking they're not fighting. Boehnner is just criticizing the president in order to try to keep himself news relevent. No one cares what the G.O.P. is doing. They want to see if the president's strategies work.

    June 4, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. Mike C

    The first leaders of Israel were in fact terrorists in the lead up to the formation of the state of Israel.

    June 4, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. Socrates

    Mr. Bonner:
    How would you feel if someone, in the name of his God, takes away the land where your grandparents and parents were living there for years before they claimed ownership of your family’s land? How would you feel if you are treated as Hitler treated the jews?
    You Republicans can't see beyond the tip of your noses because you all are self righteous. You had 8 years to do something but all you did was to deceive us starting a war with a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. There are more than 4,600 young soldiers dead, more than 30,000 emotionally and physically wounded, more than 280 soldiers that came back and committed suicide and billions of dollars spent in the Deception War in Iraq meanwhile Cheney is getting paid under the table by Halliburton and your leader is enjoying bike rides in her ranch meanwhile thousand of children, parents, and wives are missing beloved ones that died in a War made of lies..
    And you have the gulls to criticize the President?

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

    Shut up Boehner. Anytime anybody from the Democratic Party deviates from worn out Republican orthodoxy (which lest we forget is the reason for our financial crisis, our erosion of support overseas, and the general precipitous decline of the nation), the House and Senate Republican leadership become "concerned." Their actions and criticism concerning this speech ,Judge Sotomayor, and the economy further exacerbate the lengths this party will go to tear down a mandate that the American people voted for. The President is doing exactly what he said he would do concerning foreign policy (and almost everything else which is a foreign concept to the Republican Party). Since Mr. Boehner also thinks Rush Limbaugh is an asset to the Republicans, it really is an instance of taking his cautions for what they are worth: nothing. Republican ideas of foreign policy (as with most things) simply do not work.

    June 4, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. Reginald Smith

    An almost hour long speech with some of the most strong and firm assertions and this is all Boehner could come up with to criticize the President about? Question: What exactly would YOU have said Mr. Boehner? Answer: Absolutely Nothing!!!

    June 4, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. ron

    How true. Obama and his clan need to stop blaming innocent Israeli's. Would the US sit back and allow 1,000's of rockets to land on our soil without response? Would the US expect to be treated as a criminal state for responding to the 1,000's of rockets? Enough blaming Israel. Stop the political shamefulness of bowing to radicals.

    June 4, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. Ariana

    No, actually MOST of the blame SHOULD be placed on Israel. The US media does not report enough on what Israel does.

    June 4, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. Dan

    Never in my lifetime did I think Republicans would criticize a US President who follows Reagan's approach of working with the world.

    Why on earth would Boehner want America to follow the Soviet Union's strong armed tactics? As President Reagan rightly told the Soviet's "Tear down that wall."

    I proudly cast my first vote for Reagan and have voted Republican most of my life. Until the GOP realizes they betrayed Reagan's ideas, I will not return to the GOP.

    June 4, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. Randy, San Francisco

    GOP is so devoid of leadership and ideas that it has become the party of negativism. The GOP says NO to everything no matter its worth or value.

    June 4, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. bill b. from Stratford,Ct

    The Jewish people are the first to remind you about their suffering in the Holocust but now they are the ones doing the same thing to the people of Palestine. I am so sick an tire of everyone protecting the people of Israel , first lets be honest here. The Jewish people are over there taking those peoples land, killing them at will, telling them where and where they can not go, refusing them basic human rights, bombing their cities, but we're suppose to fell sorry for the Jewish people b/c someone says something about them, PLEASE. Israel is nothing more then a BULLY country that knows they can do what they want b/c the U.S. will back them.

    June 4, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. Had It

    Oh Dear – he orange skin dye he uses has seeped into his skull.

    The Boner is sounding as bright as the "Bring it On", "Mission Accomplished" Dunce we suffered thru for 8 years.

    June 4, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. Don

    What do you expect from a man who grew up a Muslim. Oh I forgot his dad turned atheist. Maybe he is reading a different bible that I read when it talks about the Israel's are the chosen children. What will be in the next chapter of this book?

    June 4, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. az voter

    Israelis in the same playpen with terrorists? You bet! Let's tell the truth. We've seen two decades of news footage from the middle east. Israel has bullied-its-way throughout the region. I've seen it. We all have seen it. Israel's government has ruled using underhanded cruelty. It kinda makes it hard to identify who the real terrorists are. Don't you think?

    June 4, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  14. Student in Boston, MA

    The Israeli people have a right to defend themselves, but they have robbed many Palestinians of their human rights in the process. Equal blame is only fair. Soon the Arab population will surpass the Israeli population and a fair two-state solution is the only answer.

    June 4, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  15. Terry Topham

    I clicked on the inflamatory headline for this story expecting to see a tirade from the Republican right. Instead, the comments by the Republican House leader were moderate, fair and well considered. They contribute to the debate unlike the CNN headline.

    June 4, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. Ron

    So what else would we expect from Mr. Boehner? Or the Repbulicans in general? And I'm saying this as a person who wants to see a strong two (or three?) party system in the US. Sadly, the Republicans are just writing themselves out of the system by always perpetuating the old approaches that are no longer relevant.

    June 4, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. asianfilmreviews

    Boehner is a reactionary fool. The sooner he gets out of the tanning salon and into the real world, the better person he'll become.

    June 4, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. Tom

    Well, Obama didn't say what Boehmer claims he was saying. These GOP liars are pathetic.

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

    there is a famous Buddhist parable that states "Suppose a man is struck by a poisoned arrow and the doctor wishes to take out the arrow immediately. Suppose the man does not want the arrow removed until he knows who shot it, his age, his parents, and why he shot it. What would happen? If he were to wait until all these questions have been answered, the man might die first."

    Mr. Boehner would do well to try and remove the arrow in America's side that is the middle east conflict rather than waste his time with such nonsense as trying to define things in his own terms, and parse hairs about whose definition of a terrorist fits.

    June 4, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. James

    Talking to one's enemy is a sign of strength, not weakness.

    June 4, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. Zimri

    Iran-the country sitting on top of an oil field really needs that nuclear energy...lol And BHO says they have every right for the technoligy that he is so very against here in the US. That does not add up on every level.

    We can reach our hand out over and over again to people who think they need to rule the world, just don't be surprised how many times our hand gets bitten. They love what BHO is saying, not because they are going to up and be peaceful, they just now see how much easier we are making it for them to make us their whipping boy.

    June 4, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. It is any Wonder?

    I think Mr. Boehner clearly missed the entire meaning behind this speech and once again, comes out as the party of NO, and the responds only with divisiness. I grow SO weary of that position.

    June 4, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. Lorna

    Well I am completely shocked! Boehner criticizes President Obama? WOW! Now that's news! He apparently didn't grasp what was behind the President's words. Mr. Boehner doesn't strike me as being particularly bright.

    June 4, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. BrianB

    As you might note, Rep. Boehner never say's how it will make us look weak. The reason why there has never been any real movement on the Palestenian issue, and what has further perpetuated the violence, is that peace os conditioned on preconditions. This is the same junk we heard from the Bush admin and it failed. It's time for change. Lets see if the Presidents proposals bring about results.

    June 4, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. Tony Darfour

    Boehner is just being a republican with no new ideas to offer, but just negative rhetoric. As the saying goes, "it takes two to tango".

    June 4, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
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