Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lantos Raps Former European Leaders

After reading this, the next one who says "It's all Bush's fault" can drop dead! this guu is probably the 2nd or 3rd most liberal democrat EVER to serve in the US Congress...T

WASHINGTON (AP) - A leading Democratic lawmaker lashed out at the former leaders of Germany and France, calling former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder a `political prostitute.'
Germany denounced the remarks by Rep. Tom Lantos, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, as an insult to its people.

Lantos' comments about Schroeder and former French President Jacques Chirac, both opponents of the Iraq war, came in a speech Tuesday at the dedication of a monument to victims of communism. President Bush spoke at the same event, but did not arrive until after Lantos spoke.

"I am so glad that the era of Jacques Chirac and Chancellor Schroeder in Germany is now gone," Lantos said to applause.

He said when the United States asked Schroeder to support its decision to go to war in Iraq "he told us where to go."

"I referred to him as a political prostitute, now that he's taking big checks from (Russian President Vladimir) Putin. But the sex workers in my district objected, so I will no longer use that phrase," Lantos said.

After leaving office in 2005 Schroeder became chairman of the North Europe Gas Pipeline, which is 51 percent owned by the Russian state natural gas company Gazprom.

Lantos' remark prompted scattered laughter and applause from the audience.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, once Schroeder's chief of staff, said Lantos' comments overstepped "the limits of political decency."

He said Lantos' comment "insults not only the former chancellor but also the great majority of German people."

Lantos said Chirac "should go down to the Normandy beaches. He should see those endless rows of white marble crosses and stars of David representing young Americans who gave their lives for the freedom of France."

He said under the successors of Schroeder and Chirac, Angela Merkel in Germany and Nicolas Sarkozy in France, relations with the United States "will take a very positive turn"

Lantos was born in Budapest, Hungary, and sent to a Nazi labor camp when he was 16. He is the only survivor of the Holocaust ever to have served in Congress.
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