House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hammered Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday, saying the Israeli prime minister's speech to Congress was an "insult" to the country.
“The unbreakable bonds between the United States and Israel are rooted in our shared values, our common ideals and mutual interests," Pelosi said in a statement just after the speech.
“That is why, as one who values the U.S. — Israel relationship, and loves Israel, I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech — saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation."
More than 50 House Democrats skipped the speech, in part to protest Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbying world A new kind of hero? Last week's emotional TV may be a sign GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE's (R-Ohio) decision to invite Netanyahu without first notifying the White House. Democrats were also upset that the address was scheduled close to the Israeli elections.
Pelosi made a point of declining to join several of the standing ovations during Netanyahu's speech and often took longer than other lawmakers to rise from her seat. She also kept commenting to her seat-mate, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), using forceful gestures.
Netanyahu used his address to Congress to argue strongly against President Obama's pursuit of a nuclear deal with Iran. He warned the emerging deal “would all but guarantee” that Iran gets nuclear weapons — “lots of them.”
“For more than a year, we’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it,” he said.
Updated at 12:47 p.m.