New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez (D) said he was sickened while reading an op-ed piece by Russian President Vladimir Putin warning against American exceptionalism.

Senator Robert Menendez (D) on CNN's The Lead (CNN)

"I have to be honest with you, I was at dinner, and I almost wanted to vomit," Menendez told Jake Tapper during an appearance on CNN's Decision Point. "The reality is, I worry when someone who came up through the KGB tells us what's in our national interest and what is not. And, you know, it really raises the questions of how serious this Russian proposal is."

President Obama in his speech on Tuesday night about military action against Syria said that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” Putin wrote that "It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.

Menendez, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, is skeptical that Putin is sincere in his plan to find a peaceful solution to Syria's use of chemical weapons. "It would be foolish to slam the door on diplomacy," said Menendez. The validity and sincerity of the Russia proposal is questionable, "but we have to test it."

Putin in the column posted on the New York Times website yesterday, the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, also took a slap at former President George W. Bush. "Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan “you’re either with us or against us," wrote Putin.

That phrase was used by Bush in a speech before the United Nations several days after the attacks in an effort to get other counties to join his "war on terror."