Schumer: ‘I Don’t Know’ If Obama Should Take A Meeting With Netanyahu

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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WASHINGTON — New York Sen. Chuck Schumer told The Daily Caller on Tuesday that he “doesn’t know” if President Obama should meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when the prime minister visits the U.S. to address Congress on March 3.

Schumer did say, however, that he planned to attend Netanyahu’s remarks, telling reporters, “I’ve had my discussions with the prime minister and I’ve told him what I think. And I told him Speaker Boehner shouldn’t have invited him that way. I hope that things can be worked out to salve some of the legitimate wounds that people feel.” He added, “I will go to the speech out of the respect for the state of Israel. And for the respect and my love for the state of Israel.”

“As much as I love Angela [Merkel], if she were two weeks from an election, she probably would not have received an invitation to the White House – and I suspect she wouldn’t have asked for one,” Obama said at a joint press conference Monday with the German chancellor at the White House.

The speech Netanyahu is expected to deliver to Congress will likely be critical of the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran.

“I don’t want to be coy. The prime minister and I have a very real difference around Iran sanctions,” Obama said. “It does not make sense to sour the negotiations a month or two before they’re about to be completed.”

Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski also told TheDC she “intends to participate” at the event in March. Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill would not say one way or the other, only explaining that Democrats are “still hopeful [Netanyahu] sees the light and gets out of the partisan realm and gets back into realizing that all of us care deeply about Israel and that he shouldn’t allow himself to be used as a political football.”

A number of House Democrats, including Vice President Joe Biden, have already stated they would not be attending the speech.

The count below shows the following Senate Democratic members who TheDC and others have spoken to about their decision to attend Netanyahu’s March 3 speech. This list will be updated as new information becomes available: (Last updated Thursday February 12, 2015 8:57 p.m. EST)

Sen. NelsonYes

Sen. Manchin: Yes

Sen. Brown: Yes

Sen. Menendez: Yes

Sen. Boxer: Yes

Sen. Mikulski: Yes

Sen. Schumer: Yes

Sen. Shaheen: Yes

Sen. Cardin: Yes

Sen. Markey: Yes

Sen. Udall: Yes

Senate Minority Leader Reid: Yes

Sen. Peters: Yes

Sen. Sanders: No

Sen. Leahy: No

Sen. Schatz : No

Sen. Feinstein: Still deciding

Sen. Durbin: Still deciding

Sen. Blumenthal : Still deciding — “inclined to attend.”

Sen. McCaskillStill deciding

Sen. Carper: Still deciding

Sen. Coons: Still deciding

Sen. FrankenStill deciding

Sen. KaineStill deciding

Sen. KingStill deciding

Sen. MurphyStill deciding

Sen. WarnerStill deciding