House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Monday accused President Obama of undermining the recent turmoil in the Middle East and showing a lack of regard for the Jewish state.
Cantor (R-Va.) stressed Obama’s interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” during which the president referred to Israel as “one of our closest allies in the region.”
“That took me off guard,” Cantor said of Obama’s remark in a conference call with reporters as a surrogate for presidential nominee Mitt Romney, “because I think clearly most Americans would say Israel is undoubtedly our best ally in the region, the one who stands for the same things that we do, and that is, human progress, universal rights, rights of the minority, rights of free speech, and downright democracy and freedom.”
“Israel continues to find itself on the receiving end of harsh language by the president in White House,” Cantor added, “and I think as Governor Romney has said before, there is a somewhat of a continued pattern of throwing Israel under the bus when Israel stands as our closest ally.”
Cantor also slammed Obama for refusing to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during his trip to the United States for the U.N. General Assembly meeting.
Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton joined in the criticism saying, “President Obama recently characterized Israel’s concern about the prospect of a nuclear Iran as ‘noise,’ and, to add insult to injury, knocked Israel down a notch to simply ‘one of our closest allies in the region,’” Bolton said in a statement. “But the fact of the matter is that Israel is without a doubt our closest and most reliable ally in the region. Its concerns about an Iran armed with a nuclear weapon aren’t simply noise; they are central not only to self-preservation and security, but also to peace. These comments offer just the latest indication that President Obama doesn’t fully grasp the seriousness of the foreign-policy challenges facing our nation.”
The Romney campaign also berated Obama for referring to the recent crisis in the Middle East as “bumps in the road.”
"His indication that developments in the Middle East represent bumps in the road is a very different view than I have," Romney told ABC News on Monday.