Politics & Government

Boehner blasts White House over Netanyahu ‘chickens**t’ quote

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Oct. 1, 2014
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Oct. 1, 2014 MCT

An unnamed senior Obama administration’s use of a slang term for fowl excrement to describe Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in a foul mood Wednesday.

After learning that the unnamed official was quoted calling Netanyahu ‘chickens**’ in The Atlantic, Boehner had some choice words for President Barack Obama and his administration.

‘Over the last several months, I have watched the administration insult ally after ally,’ Boehner said in a lengthy and tersely-worded statement. ‘He (President Barack Obama) either condones the profanity and disrespect used by the most senior members of his administration or he does not. It is time for him to get his house in order and tell the people that can’t muster professionalism that it is time to move on.’

In The Atlantic piece, the unnamed senior official groused about Netanyahu’s guts, or lack thereof.

‘The one thing about ‘Bibi, he’s a chickens**t,’ the official is quoted as saying. ‘The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars. The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states.’

The official added: ‘The only thing he’s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. He’s not (Yitzhak) Rabin, he’s not (Ariel) Sharon, he’s certainly no (Menachem) Begin. He’s got no guts.’

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said it was ‘a little rich’ that Boehner was complaining about foul language given his ‘penchant for using some pretty salty language himself.’

‘He’s (Boehner) reportedly said that about the majority leader of the United States Senate,’ Earnest said. ‘And as long as we’re talking about respect, I think that’s notable.’

Earnest said he wasn’t aware ‘of who made the comments’ to The Atlantic.

‘I do not know if the president knows who made the comments,’ Earnest said. ‘I would be surprised if he did. But the fact is anonymous comments like that on a range of issues are not particularly unique. A lot of you spend a lot of time talking to administration officials and trying to discern what those individuals have to say, or what those individuals have to say and how it reflects on United States policy.’