Congressman Bob Turner may be on his way out of Washington, but he is still a sharp critic of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy when it comes to the Middle-East. The latest issue at hand? President Barack Obama reportedly declining to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this month, which Mr. Turner said shows “a true lack of leadership.”
“Less than a year has passed since President Obama made disparaging remarks about ‘having to deal’ with Prime Minister Netanyahu,” Mr. Turner said in a statement earlier today. “His decision to turn down Prime Minister Netanyahu’s meeting request shows just how much of an inconvenience it really is for the President. If the President truly ‘has Israel’s back’ he would make it his first priority to meet with our friends.”
Mr. Turner, who won an upset special election last year partially based on the electorate’s discontent with Mr. Obama’s handling of Israel, argued that amid increasing tension between Iran and Israel, Mr. Obama owes Mr. Netanyahu not only a meeting but a full “embrace.”
“At a time when Iran is dangerously close to developing nuclear weapons and has threatened to destroy Israel, President Obama fails to embrace our staunchest ally in the area,” he continued. “The President has not been to Israel since taking office and won’t even make time for Prime Minister Netanyahu when he is on our soil. His actions are concerning and show a true lack of leadership.”
For its part, the White House has argued that its schedule is simply too full to meet with Mr. Netanyahu. This explanation has not satisfied Republicans, however, and Mr. Turner is hardly the only pol to criticize Mr. Obama over the latest-dust up.
Notably, according to a pool report, the President’s electoral rival Mitt Romney also took a healthy swipe at Mr. Obama while campaigning in Florida.
“I can’t ever imagine if the Prime Minister of Israel asked to meet with me, I can’t imagine ever saying no,” he said. “They’re our friends. They’re our closest allies in the Middle East.”