The displease with the way Republicans invited Netanyahu without consulting President Obama has not diminished. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that by a margin of 48%-30% American voters disapproved of Republicans inviting a foreign leader to speak without telling the president.
According to The Wall Street Journal:
Nearly half of American voters think that Republican lawmakers should not have invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of Congress without first notifying President Barack Obama, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey finds.
Some 48% of registered voters said they disapproved of inviting another leader to speak without first checking with the president, while 30% said congressional Republicans should have done so. Just over a fifth said they didn’t know enough to say.
Netanyahu tried to spin his way out of the conspiracy with Boehner gone wrong during his AIPAC speech today, “My speech is not intended to show any disrespect to President Obama or the esteemed office that he holds. I have great respect for both.”
If the Israeli Prime Minister respected the president, he would have consulted Obama before he accepted the invitation to address Congress. The Netanyahu visit was so poorly handled by both the Prime Minister and Speaker of the House John Boehner that they have turned his speech into a purely partisan affair. Voters aren’t buying what Boehner and Netanyahu are selling.
The speech is an issue that is not blowing over. Democrats who will be attending Netanyahu’s speech to Congress have been working under the assumption that the controversy would quickly forgotten, but years of Republican disrespect of this president were embodied by Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu.
Voters are correctly blaming Boehner and the Republicans for disrespecting the president. By playing partisan politics with a U.S./Israel relationship, Boehner and Netanyahu took a moment that they hoped would be a humiliating defeat for the president and turned into another self-inflicted wound for the Republican Party.
Netanyahu’s speech is another Republican failure in their perpetual campaign to disrespect President Obama.