Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may owe his election victory in part to President Barack Obama, according to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, Ryan said that the Obama administration’s opposition to Netanyahu’s address to the U.S. Congress helped him build a winning parliamentary coalition.
“I actually think the Obama administration helped contribute to his victory because of the way they treated him,” Ryan said. “It helped him consolidate his coalition so that he could have this landslide victory.”
There’s little evidence to support Ryan’s claim, though. Israeli exit polls on election night were significantly inaccurate, and many experts pointed out that a new Israeli law prohibiting polling in the five days leading up to Tuesday’s election made it difficult to determine whether Netanyahu’s last-minute tack to the right had an impact on public opinion.
Ryan’s office did not respond to The Huffington Post’s request for comment.
Tensions between the Obama administration and Netanyahu have been high since last month, when House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) invited the Israeli prime minister to speak before Congress without notifying the White House. At the time, Ryan denied that Netanyahu’s visit would sour relations between the U.S. and Israel.
“I don’t know if I would say it’s antagonizing,” Ryan said in February on “Meet The Press.”
Source: Huff Post