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McCain: Netanyahu speech ‘perfectly appropriate’

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) defended the House GOP’s invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as criticism mounts from Democrats who won’t attend the speech out of protest.

“It seems perfectly appropriate for the elected Speaker of the House of Representatives to invite someone to speak to the Congress,” McCain said on Fox News’s “Hannity” on Monday. 

{mosads}“We’re not inviting him to speak to Barack Obama.” 

Democrats have criticized Netanyahu’s decision to accept the invitation from Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) as a breach of protocol. The White House was only informed of Netanyahu’s visit after it was arranged through Boehner — an unusual move, given the executive’s role on foreign affairs.

Neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden plan to meet with the Israeli leader, and Biden is not attending the speech.

Some Democratic lawmakers have described the speech as a stunt intended to help Netanyahu two weeks before his own election. The Israeli leader is planning to use the speech to criticize the administration’s policies toward Iran. Netanyahu’s government opposes U.S.-led talks with Iran on that country’s nuclear program, and has backed new U.S. sanctions that Obama says would endanger the talks.

McCain pushed back against those assertions and characterized the speech as an important way to hear directly from the United States’s top ally in the Middle East about his perceived dangers with the Iran negotiations.

“Here’s so much at stake here that Bibi has to tell the American people about this threat of making a deal with the Iranians, that is an existential threat to the state of Israel,” he said, referring to Netanyahu by a nickname.

“Pay attention to what Bibi has to say when he speaks to Congress. He won’t be wrong.”

He also praised the show’s host, Sean Hannity, for “educating the American people” when the host called Netanyahu “the only adult on the world stage.”

“The president is delusional or in denial,” McCain said.

“Whatever it is, he is placing this nation in grave danger.”

Tags Barack Obama Boehner John Boehner John McCain

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