Cantor: Obama trip to Israel would be 'four years too late'

President Obama's upcoming trip to Israel is four years too late, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Monday.

"President Obama’s promise to visit Israel in his second term comes four years too late, and is emblematic of the lack of close coordination with Israel Candidate Obama led us to expect in 2008," Cantor said in a statement released by Mitt Romney's campaign. "It also does not make up for the many shortcomings of his Middle East policy, ranging from the fact that Iran continues to race forward with its nuclear weapons program to his administration’s haplessness in the face of Syria’s support of terrorism, threats to use weapons of mass destruction and support of instability in the region."

Cantor's comments came after Obama's reelection campaign announced earlier in the day that Obama would visit Israel if he's elected to a second term in office. Obama previously visited the country as a senator while running for president in 2008.

Surrogates for Romney were quick to criticize Obama in response to the announcement.

"Obama has been in office three and a half years, and he has had time to do more fundraisers than any other first-term American president, has probably played more rounds of golf than any other president since Dwight Eisenhower, and yet he has not had time to fit into his busy schedule even one trip to Israel," Former United Nations ambassador John Bolton, a Romney surrogate, said in an interview with WABC Radio on Monday.

Cantor continued that Obama has visited other countries while neglecting Israel.

"Our relationship with Israel should be a priority, not a distraction. President Obama has found time to visit dozens of other nations – including some near to Israel in the Middle East – and his treatment of our closest ally in the region has been profoundly disappointing," Cantor continued.

Romney has said, if elected president, his first trip would be to Israel.

More in Blog Briefing Room

Ex-CIA official: Lone wolf attacks coming to US within 'next year'

Read more »