House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday she was close to tears during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to Congress, and implied that Netanyahu vastly underestimated the ability of the Obama administration to negotiate an agreement that keeps nuclear weapons away from Iran.
"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," she said.
Netanyahu directly criticized the emerging Iran agreement as one that would reward a state sponsor of terrorism with access to nuclear weapons after a decade, and possibly earlier if Iran cheats on the deal.
Democrats were wary that Netanyahu might undermine the administration's agreement, which is why dozens of Democrats purposefully skipped the speech. A running count by The Hill said nearly 50 House Democrats were expected not to attend, and about eight Senate Democrats.
Many of these Democrats were also miffed that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) didn't consult with Democrats when he invited Netanyahu to speak. The Obama administration looked down on the invitation ostensibly because the speech was so close to Israel's March 17 election, although Netanyahu's remarks about the Iran deal are likely much more of a concern to the White House at this point.
Netanyahu did stress in his remarks that he welcomes support from both Republicans and Democrats, and that his speech should not become a partisan fight. Pelosi herself gave a nod to Netanyahu by saying both sides support his goal of keeping nuclear weapons out of Iran.
"Today, Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated something we all agree upon: a nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable to both our countries," she said. "We have all said that a bad deal is worse than no deal, and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons is the bedrock of our foreign policy and national security."
"As President Obama has said consistently, all options are on the table for preventing a nuclear-armed Iran," she added.