During an appearance on CNN, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) destroyed Speaker of the House John Boehner and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for conspiring to undermine President Obama foreign policy.
Sen. Sanders said:
A President Of The United States, whether that person is a Democrat or a Republican leads us in foreign policy, and when you have a situation in the Middle East where the politics and the dangers are so volatile, the idea that the Speaker of the House would invite Mr. Netanyahu to Congress without consulting President Obama is I think a very very bad idea.
The second point, and I think President Obama made this point is that it is wrong to give any politician, not just Netanyahu, the stage of a speech before a joint session of Congress as part of his reelection campaign. That’s wrong for politics in Israel. That’s wrong for politics anywhere in the world.
And the last point that I would make, Mr. Netanyahu has every right in the world to disagree with President Obama or any of us about our relationship and we proceed with Iran in terms of how we prevent them from getting nuclear weapons. He has every right, but he doesn’t have the right in my view to inject himself into an American political discussion by being the speaker before a joint session of Congress to criticize the President Of The United States. There are all kinds of avenues open to him to speak to members of Congress, and that’s fine. I don’t think it’s a good idea to have a foreign leader coming before Congress to rip apart the President Of The United States.
The CNN anchors tried to compare Netanyahu’s speech to Congress to President Obama’s Berlin speech months before the 2008 election, but Sen. Sanders was having none of that, “Several months is different than several weeks…And by the what Obama and our allies are trying to do is what the American people want I believe is prevent a war with Iran. Now, I understand there are differences of opinion, but I think it is bad precedent to invite the leader of a foreign country to come before a joint session of Congress to attack the president’s position on a very sensitive issue.”
Sanders said that his constituents want to see foreign policy done in a non-partisan way, “I think what Speaker Boehner has done is very much politicized the situation in a way that is unprecedented….The point is the President Of The United States, and again it doesn’t matter to me whether it’s a Democrat or a Republican, leads foreign policy, and to invite that Prime Minister, that foreign leader, without consulting the president is a horrible move.”
Sen. Sanders summed up the entire opposition to Netanyahu’s speech very effectively. It was wrong for Boehner and Netanyahu to politicize this process. None of this should sit well with the American people. The fact that Boehner and Netanyahu are conspiring to undermine a sitting president on foreign policy, and the fact that a foreign leader is trying to influence American foreign policy are very troubling aspects of what Boehner and Netanyahu are doing.
What Republicans are doing is disloyal to their country, and Bernie Sanders called callous partisan politics on national television. The opposition to Netanyahu’s speech is growing louder, and the conservative conspiracy to undermine Obama is beginning to crumble.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association