Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, blasted President Obama for sticking to his planned schedule even after knowing that a Malaysia Airlines jet had been shot down by a missile, and for his administration's response to hostilities between Israelis and Palestinians.
"It's not presidential. It's not even gubernatorial. It's not even legislative," Huckabee, a former Republican presidential candidate, said on Fox News Friday.
"Your schedule says a lot about what you think is important," Huckabee said. "This president — it doesn't matter if it's the border, Israel, it doesn't matter if it's the airliner — he's a fundraiser first and a president second."
A Malaysia Airlines flight, MH 17, with 298 people aboard fell from the sky near the town of Torez in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine on Thursday. The plane, Boeing 777, was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, flying at about 33,000 feet when it was hit by a missile.
A Ukrainian official has said 23 Americans were aboard the flight.
Obama spoke with the U.K.'s Prime Minister David Cameron Saturday to discuss the shoot-down of the flight and agreed that "an independent, full, credible, and unimpeded international investigation" must begin immediately, according to the White House. "They also agreed that all countries should do their utmost to ensure the Russian-supported separatists grant secure access to the site of the incident."
Huckabee also criticized Secretary of State John Kerry for asking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to avoid civilian deaths in Gaza.
"Let me just be blunt, saying that is idiotic," Huckabee. "What he ought to be saying is that Israel has every right to defend itself against the terrorism that they have been subjected."
Huckabee asked why is Israel "the bad guy" in the Middle East? "It was Hamas who drew first blood, it was Hamas who violated two different ceasefire agreements and continued to fire rockets … Hamas has relentlessly fired missiles at civilian targets in Israel."
Huckabee added he was "disgusted" with the Obama administration for acting "like there's some moral equivalency between Israel and a terrorist organization. That's nonsense."
More than 290 Palestinians – mostly civilians and including 50 children – have been killed since fighting began July 8, according to Gaza officials. Two Israelis – a soldier and a civilian, have also been killed.
Sen. McCain called the government a "cowardly administration."
"It's just been cowardly, it's a cowardly administration that failed to give the Ukrainians weapons with which to defend themselves," he told Fox News Thursday. "I don't understand this president. The crisis on the border and he did the fundraisers, the fundraisers in New York while there are major, major conflicts, not to mention the loss of American lives reported … I do not understand it."
McCain added that if Russia is actually behind the plane crash, Washington needs to "impose the harshest possible sanctions on Vladimir Putin and Russia."
Fox News host Sean Hannity quoted White House press secretary Josh Earnest, on whether Obama is a "bystander" president, saying, "There have been a number of situations in which you've seen this administration intervene in a meaningful way that has … substantially improved the … tranquility of the global community."
The host then asked McCain if he could name one place in the global community where it's tranquility. "Wherever there's a fundraiser," McCain replied.