Obama has made some pretty outlandish comments throughout his presidency, but this one takes the cake:
“I try not to pat myself too much on the back, but this administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration. And that’s not just our opinion, that’s the opinion of the Israeli government.”
Seriously? What makes this even more jarring is that he said it at a fundraiser at the Manhattan home of Jack Rosen, who is the chairman of the American Jewish Congress. Not certain how he can stand by and listen to that.
Has Obama’s administration done more in terms of security of the state of Israel than any previous administration? And is that truly the opinion of the Israeli government?
Read this exchange on Fox News (emphasis mine):
BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: The president on election night in 2009 and then last night at a fundraiser talking about a second term and turning the economy around.
He also said this not on camera about Israel, quote, “I try not to pat myself too much on the back, but this administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration. And that is not just our opinion. That is the opinion of the Israeli government.”
We’re back with the panel. Charles, is that the opinion of the Israeli government?
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: It is not, and I’m sure Obama knows it. If he doesn’t, he’s delusional. And this is really chutzpah. This president has done more to delegitimize and undermine Israel’s position in the world than any other president, and he did it by arriving on the scene and imposing and demanding of Israel a freeze on settlements, including the building of Jewish homes in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem of all places, something that had never been a precondition in 17 years of negotiations.
Imposing, and of course the Palestinians had to insist on it as well once the president had, and that destroyed all negotiations, and it made Israel the fall guy for an era, an era of an arrogant amateur who imposed this at the beginning of his term. As a result there are no negotiations.
And second, the most important issue for Israel, for its security is Iran. And this is a president who at a time of maximum weakness of the Mullahs in 2009 did not lift a finger to help the revolution because he had another delusion that if he engaged and negotiated with the Mullahs he could sweet talk Iran out of its weapons. The policy is a failure. He knows it. And we are on the threshold of Iran becoming a nuclear power.
BAIER: Chuck, many analysts not just at this table but other places, have talked about a vulnerability when it comes to Israel. You saw the congressional district, the ninth congressional district race in New York which turned many people believed on the issue of Israel. This was kind of a bold statement, even to say at a Democratic fundraiser wasn’t it?
CHARLES LANE, EDITORIAL WRITER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, I thought it was kind of a tall claim. I’m perhaps not as hard over about this as Charles is. But I was trying to think back of what previous administrations had done for Israel’s security. And I guess my winner for the one who had done the most of any would be good old Richard Nixon who in 1973, together with Henry Kissinger secretary of state decided to ship weapons to Israel when it had his back against the wall in the Yom Kippur War. Now, that is doing something for Israel’s security. And I’m not sure anything is that critical in the last three years to measure up to it.
This is the kind of detachment from reality that could have a real impact on whether President Obama is able to get elected for a second term next November. Unless he tempers his tall tales, he will continue to be the best opponent against himself.