Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement ahead of President Obama’s address to the United Nations General Assembly today:

“This weekend President Obama referred to the recent events in the Middle East as mere ‘bumps in the road.’ He also dismissed the Israeli concern that we specify our red lines on Iran as ‘noise’ that he would ‘block out.’  Israel itself he demoted to only ‘one of our closest allies in the region.’

“We need real leadership from the President on these issues, and he’s not providing it. He’s absent or stalling from the situations in Iran and Syria, doing his best to downplay the threats to U.S interests across the Middle East,  hiding from our allies, and silent on the recently deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. 

“When it comes to foreign policy, the President seems to be waiting out till the election.  Unfortunately, the problems of the world don’t wait and almost four years of taking a backseat to many of these situations is catching up with us, as we’ve seen. 

“Our embassies were attacked – and he called YouTube. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested a meeting – and he does The View instead.

“The American people, and our allies, deserve better from the President, including today at the U.N.”