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McCain mocks Obama's "temper tantrum" over Israel

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol February 5, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Win McNamee, Getty Images

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, has a few words for President Obama: "Get over your temper tantrum, Mr. President."

McCain issued the blistering criticism Sunday in a CNN interview, admonishing the president's reaction to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent re-election.

"Look, there was a free and fair democratic election, the only nation in the region that will have such a thing," the Arizona lawmaker said. "The president should get over it. Get over your temper tantrum, Mr. President. It's time that we work together with our Israeli friends and try to stem this tide of ISIS and Iranian movement throughout the region, which is threatening the very fabric of the region."

McCain, who serves on the Senate Homeland Security committee, was responding to comments the president issued after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won re-election in a tight political race. After Netanyahu's victory, Obama's administration chastised the prime minister's Likud party for what the White House deemed anti-Arab rhetoric, saying it was "deeply concerned about their campaign language."

When CNN host Gloria Borger pressed McCain on his belief that "the president is letting his personal feelings toward Netanyahu get in the way of important policy issues," the veteran legislator did not hesitate to confirm it.

"I am convinced of it," McCain fired back, "because, either that, or [Mr. Obama] is delusional. I am not sure which."

"Bibi's rhetoric concerning an election campaign pales in comparison as to the threat, the direct threat, to the United States of America of ISIS," McCain continued, pillorying the "Orwellian" situation. "The president has his priorities so screwed up, that it's unbelievable.

Bolstering reports that the U.S. was entering an increasingly strained relationship with Israel, the president's words were not received kindly by other members of Congress as well.

House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-California, also denounced the president's views in a Sunday interview on CBS' "Face the Nation."

"This is about the mutual concern we have for Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon," McCarthy told host Bob Schieffer. "I will tell you that the special relationship that America has with the Israeli people transcends any of the politics. This administration should be better than this, that Prime Minister Netanyahu has been re-elected."

The White House also derided Netanyahu's decision not to support a two-state resolution to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- a change of heart for the prime minister from a position he'd officially endorsed since 2009.

"Based on those comments, the U.S. will evaluate our position going forward," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday.

In light of Netanyahu's new positions, Obama had asked top advisers to the White to conduct a review of other possible resolutions -- according to officials, the "likely outcome" of which could be an acceptance of a United Nations Security Resolution that recognizes the state of Palestine.

McCain excoriated that possibility, telling CNN that "of course [the president] shouldn't be considering it."

"If he does that, then -- and it would be approved by the U.N., then the United States Congress would have to examine our funding for the United Nations," the Arizona senator said. "It would be a violation because of the president's anger over a statement by Bibi, by the prime minister of Israel. It would contradict American policy for the last at least 10 presidents of the United States."