Cantor: Obama's Israel Comments 'Took Me Off Guard'
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor blasted President Obama's recent remarks on Israel during a press call today. Rep. Cantor, who is Jewish, said "The president last night made some comments that were very concerning regarding America's posture in the Middle East, and what's been going on there." During a 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday night, President Obama downgraded the US relationship with Israel to just "one of our closest allies."
Cantor said that "The president indicated that Israel was somehow one of our closest allies in the region. That remark took me off guard because most Americans regard Israel as our best ally in the region." Cantor said that Israel stands "side by side" with the US in opposing the "existential threat" that Iran poses and stand with the US on fundamental human rights.
"Israel continues to find itself on the receiving end of harsh language from the president and the White House," Cantor added, which shows a "continuing pattern of throwing Israel under the bus when Israel is our closest ally." Cantor also blasted the president for characterizing Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as making "noise" when he voices concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions and intentions. Iran leaders have said on numerous occasions that they intend to destroy Israel.
Cantor said that America should have a stronger hand when dealing with Iran, meaning a more consistent certain message. He said that Obama's "noise" comments plus his decision to appear on The View rather than meet with Netanyahu during this week's UN meetings reinforce suspicions about the "lack of seriousness" with which the president approaches the Middle East.
Cantor's call was the second of the day organized by the Romney campaign, indicating that the campaign has shifted to a more aggressive posture in the final weeks leading up to the November 6 election.