Relaxed in a front-row seat, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was like any other member of Congress listening to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech.
Reid, who is recovering from eye surgery, got a shout out at the beginning of the address.
“Harry, it’s good to see you back on your feet,” Netanyahu said. “I guess it’s true what they say, you can’t keep a good man down.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), however, seemed agitated during the speech and slipped out of the chamber quickly before Netanyahu even left.
In a statement afterward, Pelosi said she was “near tears” during the address — but not because of the prime minister’s impassioned defense of the Jewish people or the presence of Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel in the chamber.
“The unbreakable bonds between the United States and Israel are rooted in our shared values, our common ideals and mutual interests. Ours is a deep and abiding friendship that will always reach beyond party. Americans stand shoulder to shoulder with the Israeli people. The state of Israel stands as the greatest political achievement of the 20th century, and the United States will always have an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security,” Pelosi said.
“That is why, as one who values the U.S. – Israel relationship, and loves Israel, I was near tears throughout the prime minister’s speech – saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation,” she said.
The House minority leader said Netanyahu “reiterated something we all agree upon: a nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable to both our countries.”
“We have all said that a bad deal is worse than no deal, and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons is the bedrock of our foreign policy and national security,” Pelosi added. “As President Obama has said consistently, all options are on the table for preventing a nuclear-armed Iran.”
Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), though, was a much more enthusiastic audience member.
Hoyer appeared side-by-side with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) at the AIPAC conference on Sunday night, praising the bipartisan nature of congressional support for Israel.
UPDATE: Pelosi made the lead on state-owned Iran Press TV.