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. Candy West Virginia

    The Isreales have initiated more strikes than the Palenstines. We have to stop this blanket protection and support of ISreal. And boehner attacking the President, what else is new? That is all the rethugs know how to do. We did it their way for 8 years and it was a total, complete FAILURE.

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

    Does Boehner realize that placing blame to one side is what causes problems like this in the first place?

    June 4, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. carlos

    beener...why don't you jump into an alligator's open mouth??????

    June 4, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. Chris (SC)

    Lets just continue to do the things Bush and company did for 8 years then huh? What a great idea. Bush's ideas didn't work, lets try something different. If they think we are weak or whatever doesn't really change how bad things are right now does it?

    If you think Obama is having to apologize it is because Bush screwed things up so bad he has to do that. I for one think he is keeping us safe by changing the hearts and minds of could be terrorists in the Muslim world.

    June 4, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. David Jones

    To show you what a clown John Boehner is, the speech was televised live in Israel and the overwhelming majority of the country agreed with Obama's comments–in fact, it was Kadima's position in the last election who secured the most amount of votes. It's amazing how stupid people like Boehner are when what Obama says is right on for the Israelis.

    June 4, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Robert Miller

    Boehner continues to make things up, Obama said nothing about Israel being the same as Palestine. And the same old rhetoric McCain used about Obama sitting down with Iran without any preconditions, it's funny they are still tring to make this garbage stick. Boehner is sinking farther and farther into obscurity..............

    June 4, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. LN

    As per usual, GOP thinks very myopically. When Bush/Cheney were at the throne, they CERTAINLY, didn't speak for me as a citizen. I think the same is true for anyone living in any middle eastern country. Obama's speech was to the people as well as the governments. But the GOP still lacks that "vision thing."

    June 4, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. John St. Louis

    Israel is as guilty as the Palestinians. The Palestinians arent just attacking Israel because it seems like a cool thing to do when they wake up in the morning. Its a response to aggression. If Canada built "settlements" Michigan and continued to attack America would we as Americans just stand by and let it happen. Absolutly not. Obama is on the right track. No country including the U.S. should be able to do as it pleases and not expect their chickens to come home and roost. The only way peace is possible is for both sides to work together and the US be as fair and impartial as possible. A Palestinian state is a must!

    June 4, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. Chris

    The president's speech took on a more balanced approach and eliminated the blank check that Israel is able to write for every occasion. Peace cannot be achieved with one side having all the advantages.

    June 4, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  10. Lisa, Laughlin NV

    I too agree with Boehner about the closing of the facility at Guantanamo Bay. That is still a hot button issue here in this country and should not have been brought up when we don't know where those deadly thugs will be placed yet.

    I was glad that Boehner found some positive things about Obamas speech. That is really what we need in this country, more bi-partisan agreement.

    We know Israel is an extremely close ally of the US and the US won't let her be attacked by Iran or any other nation for that matter. In the long run this issue is really one that both sides can agree on. What is hard to take is the idea of sitting down with Iran without pre-conditions.

    I hope President Obama rethinks this idea and that Republicans give a little more than they have.

    June 4, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. Shelleyt

    I am distressed but not surprised that the GOP can find fault with most anything! The President has stated that Israel must stop building in the settlements and allow the peace process to go forward. He does not support the terrorist organizations, but acknowledges that Hama, Hezbollah, etc. are the powers that must be dealt with. This nitpicking by the Republicans only continues to make them look and sound like petulant idiots.

    June 4, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  12. Brandon

    Being too scared to talk makes America look weak. Demonizing a weak people like the Palestinians makes America look weak. What will make America look strong is accomplihing a lasting Middle East peace. This is just one step in that journey, but it is a step in the right direction.

    June 4, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. Cfoster

    Boner is always complaining. If Obama took a dump that was green instead of brown Boner would complain. You would never see a GOP president with the balls to speak in a Muslin country.

    June 4, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. J Thompson

    Dude, you and the GOP are relevant just how? Oh, wait......you're not.

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

    the headline says "slams". i was looking for somewhere in the article to warrant that term. couldn't find it.

    June 4, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. mike from detroit

    republicans are idiots

    June 4, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  17. Vikram Patel

    What else the GOP leader can do? Does John Boehner understand the operational meaning of the word "MEDIATOR"? From his critique of the President's speech, it seems to me that he does understand the meaning of Mediator. For starters, mediators should not take sides with only one party. The mediator has to call out the wrongs of all concerned and at the same time commend the strengths and positive actions. For the last 30 plus years (except during Carter administration), U. S. has been involved as a mediator in the middle east, but siding with Israel.

    June 4, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. brandon blankensip

    What else did you expect from Dr. No? It's like the repubs only exist these days to derail whatever it is the dems are trying to do. Yeah, keep that up because it really seems to be working for you....NOT!!

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

    Boehner continues to show why his party will be irrelevant for years to come. What he sees as 'weakness' the rest of the world recognizes as true strength.

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

    Thank God Jon Boehner wasn't elected president! Hey, JOHN, you don't get to make America's foriegn policy.
    Talking with the Iranians will NOT make us look weak, on the contrary! I think Obama needs to be given a chance, not bad mouthed by the evil right wing of the political spectrum every time he tries to do something.

    June 4, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. Jerry

    another wacko right loser

    June 4, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. Accountability

    Whatever happened to the Republicans "rule" during the Bush debacle of not criticizing the President when he was on foreign soil? Can you say "Hypocrits"?

    June 4, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. Courtney

    One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

    The whole Mideast dilemma reminds me of Star Wars - are the Israelis or the Palestinians really the "good" or "evil" side?

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

    Hey John, the American people spoke last November, and they decided that your tone is not in America's best interest.

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

    No one cares or listens to the Party of the South any longer. Keep up the good work Congressman, you will soon not even be the Party of the South, you will no longer exist as a party.

    June 4, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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