President Obama has made it clear that he won’t be meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been invited by House Speaker John Boehner to address a joint session of Congress in March. On Wednesday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained Wednesday that leaving the White House out of the loop was a “departure from protocol.”
Further, the White House clarified today that the president has a policy of not meeting with any foreign leaders shortly before their elections to avoid the appearance of attempting to influence the outcome.
If that’s true, the media asked Earnest today, how does that explain candidate Obama’s extensive 2008 European and Middle Eastern campaign tour just months before the United States elections? The answer? They’re very different.
Obama said earlier this week he’ll certainly meet with the winner of Israel’s election. Until then, it’s a snub for Netanyahu and back to standard presidential protocol, like meeting with a green-lipped YouTube superstar who eats cereal from her bathtub.