June 4th, 2009
03:31 PM ET
5 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. Robin

    Boehner need to be concerned about a Cheney stating that he never seen evidence that leak Iraq to 9/11 and he is not in jail. President Obama should have put Cheney and Hamas in the same sentence.

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

    "House GOP rips Obama speech."
    Wow! Better check this out. Click on link.
    "Boehner slams Obama comments on Israel-Palestine, Iran"
    OK, he only ripped a couple points in the speech. Read article.
    "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," Boehner goes on to respectfully disagree with a couple of Obamas points and provide rational reasons for doing so. Whether you agree with him or not he didn't "rip" anything and he didn't "slam" Obama. Just another example of CNN sensationalizing anything the GOP says so all the liberals can get on this blog and have another opportunity to bash the opposition. BS

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

    Boehner clearly hasn't studied the history of the Palestine-Israel conflict, and is therefore not in a position to speak on the validity of the President's remarks. Boehner should focus on what's going on domestically in the United States to the extent that he's knowledgeable of even that. I suppose he'll be spending some alone time.

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

    "Denying that fact is baseless, it is ignorant, and it is
    hateful." That was an excerpt from President Obama's speech today referring to the Holocaust..I believe this statement can be said of any Republican that denies that the last Administration was wrong on a number of issues: Iraq, Torture, Sarah Palin, Limbaugh, Hannity, Strom, Jesse Helm, etc...The individuals listed here are clueless, ignorant, and to many extents, hateful.... We're still praying for you President Obama..Keep up the good work!!

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

    John Boehner is from the old school of thought and is too dense to open up to the modern world.

    June 4, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. Wayne

    Please Bonehead, just crawl back into the hole where you came from.

    June 4, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. Roger

    Where was the "ripping"? I read some disagreement in the words. CNN has long been my news network of choice but continues every day to sacrifice it's credibility by putting red "Breaking News" logos every time a fireman rescues a cat from a tree and uses inflammatory headlines such as the one for this piece which in no way truly describes the actual tone of the remarks.

    June 4, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  8. Jamie

    AMEN !

    Israel cannot build housing according to Obama but Iran can build nukes. If I recall the game of rock, paper, scissors it does not seem very balanced....

    June 4, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. jon c. sprowl

    right on. these stupid liberal democrats have no idea what they have done electing a socialist .we are doomed until we get him out of office.

    June 4, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. sensible Cape Coral FL

    Does "Bonehead" Boehner have a better idea of how to secure peace in the Middle East? I didn't think so.

    June 4, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. Eric in Chicago

    I am still waiting to see Boehner's REAL budget proposal :-)

    Is this all the Repubs can do is say, 'I don't like what Obama is doing?'

    June 4, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. steve

    This is considered 'ripping' by CNN??!! Looks like you're just trying to make Boehner look bad with an overstated headline.

    Less bias, more news, please.

    June 4, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. jason

    This guy just doesn't get it. I just read a synopsis of Obama's speech (which was spot on). He was not blaming this country or that country. In my opinion Obama gave a pretty frank and objective speech. This Boehner guy needs to go back to his party's master (Rush Limbaugh) and think of some new ideas.

    June 4, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Amazed

    It doesn't matter what Obama said..this nut would have still had something negative to say about the speech. Give me a break.

    June 4, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  15. brad

    What else is new?

    June 4, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. Bea from Texas

    "The Israelis have the right to defend themselves," he said...true but that doesn't mean Israel has to kill people for no reason

    June 4, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. Mike in NYC

    I'm not a worshiper of the Great BO, but the GOP is going to have to get beyond this patriotard crap. There's actually been no substantive change in US policy toward Iran under Obama, and it's playing into the hands of Iran's hardliners.

    From Boehner:

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

    The families of Palestinian civilians murdered by Israel see things a bit differently.

    June 4, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. David

    I support Israel, but I do think we need to stop babying them. The US has for too long been hyper-careful as to not offend Israel. The truth is that Israel should be challenged when they engage in unreasonable diplomacy and terrorist-like activities. Israel is a big boy now in the international community and needs to start behaving with some maturity.

    June 4, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  19. Greg from MA

    Boehner doesn't have a leg to stand on regarding this issue. He walked the Bush-Cheney line the entire time he has been in office, and his inaction in the Legislature has contributed to Iran being allowed to develop nuclear weapons (never mind that North Korea did develop nuclear weapons on his watch).

    This is a man concerned about being reelected, not about the good of the nation.

    June 4, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. darby

    It doesn't matter what Obama says or does to clean up the mess left by Bush/Cheney, these GOP dinosaurs will always try to put their negative spin on it. GOP = Got Zero Plan

    June 4, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  21. Hrm...

    I wonder... do some of these guys evern listen to the speeches? The President said that Isreal's settlements were illegal (which they ARE) on the west bank and would not be backed by the US. He also called on Palestinians to do their part to stem the violence in the area and suggested they need to resolve matters with peace, not weapons.

    Somehow... this turned into Obama blaming the Isreali people for being bombed by Hamas?

    Wow. I've heard of spin-doctoring.. but this is ridiculous.

    June 4, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. Ross, Chautauqua, NY

    Boehner has some nerve–all he wants is more war and trouble between the Israelis and Palestinians, and with Iran. He has no solutions-just more misery.

    June 4, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. Bob Evano

    Just be quiet and scurry back to the tanning salon, boehner. Geez, enough with the lies already. No one cares what you guys think. Your party broke EVERYTHING. No really, you did. It would be like the fire fighters asking the arsonist the best way to put out a fire.

    June 4, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. Scottyrw

    The real problem for America is the ......

    REPUBLICAN'Ts

    June 4, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  25. Texan

    My friend, you have not learned anything yet. Bush tried the hard way, but it did not worked. Please let us tried Obama way, then let judge the outcome.

    June 4, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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