Ed Gillespie, adviser to the President, had this to say at a press gaggle today:
We did not anticipate that it would be taken that way, because it’s kind of hard to take it that way if you look at the actual words of the President’s remarks, which are consistent with what he has said in the past relative to dealing with groups like Hezbollah and Hamas and al Qaeda; relative to standing by Israel; relative to concerns about Iran developing the prospect of a nuclear weapon. And so there was really nothing new in the speech that anyone could point to that would indicate that. . . .
I would again encourage the media, whatever you want to do, it’s your editors — to ask them if maybe you might ask the Speaker of the House, or the leader of the Senate, or the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, what sentence that the President uttered, what words do you disagree with in those comments in the Knesset?
I agree: what precisely was wrong with what Bush said? Bush has been saying these “unprecedented” things about the perils of appeasement for years. So why did Obama get so upset? The Republican Jewish Coalition has an idea:
Why, when Barack Obama hears the word “appeasement,” does he think it applies to him? Why when it comes to standing with Israel is Barack Obama so defensive? It is Barack Obama’s promise to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that causes great nervousness in the Jewish community.
What’s hard for me to understand here is why Obama would meet with Ahmejinedad, but not Hamas. After all, if you’ll sit down with the don, why not break bread with his hitmen?