July 26th, 2007
06:55 PM ET
7 years ago

More '08ers weigh in on Clinton v. Obama

(CNN) – With Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama locked in a dispute over diplomacy, the initial question that sparked the dispute was posed to additional presidential candidates on the trail today.

Would they meet with five hostile world leaders, with no preconditions, within a year of taking office?

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, agreed with Clinton.

“You don’t want to sit down and meet with people who are enemies of the United Statesand everything you stand for and believe in, unless you are sure that the outcome will be beneficial…and that the outcome will not enhance the prestige or the standing of one of these dictators,” McCain said in Boston Thursday.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democratic presidential candidate, was more open to bilateral talks, but with conditions.

“I’d meet with leaders we disagree with,” Richardson said at a campaign stop in Des Moines. “President Bush's policy doesn't work. He basically says if you exhibit bad behavior I’m not going to talk to you. It’s a big mistake.”

“I think too often our foreign policy has been based on sending envoys, sending second level negotiators. I'm the President! We’ve got big problems with Iran, big problems withSyria, big problems in North Korea. Let’s face them.”

Richardson drew the line with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: “I probably would not meet with him. I think it reaches a point where he is unreasonable.”

He instead said he would meet with moderate Iranian officials and clerics.

- CNN's Mark Norman

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Robert

    First Mitt Romney now John McCain agrees with Clinton.
    Sounds like Hillary is in the wrong party! Go Obama For Change!

    July 26, 2007 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  2. patricia, St. Paul, MN

    It is very sad that the Democratic lead candidates are carrying on like jr. high kids as they try to one-up one another.

    Personally, I admire Senator Obama for his honesty and his desire to use the presidential role in diplocary.(something sorely missing in the Bush and Clinton administrations). And I am turned off by Senator Clinton's patronizing attitude toward Senator Obama. If Obama doesn't receive the Democratic nomination, I'm hoping for someone other than Clinton. We deserve better.

    July 26, 2007 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  3. Mrs. America

    It's doubtful that Richardson will be nominated because his competition is so great. However, contrary to his saying he would like to see any of the Dem candidates in the WH as veep, he should keep himself in good favor with the Dem frontrunners because Richardson is probably the best candidate for the veep job (even though he says he doesn't want it) of all of those running, and he has the experience to deal with issues like the dispute between Clinton and Obama.

    However, I think it will be a real challenge for the American people to bring themselves to elect one minority much less two, so who's really the best candidate probably won't play too much of a role in the election anyway. If the past is any indication, on election day we will be back to voting for who's for/against abortion and gay marriage, even as the world is fixing to be nuked, and a white male will be sitting in the Oval Office.

    July 26, 2007 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  4. A.J., Seattle, WA

    If Obama's statement was a blunder (I'm not sure it actually was), Hillary made a bigger one that nobody has called attention to. Hillary said "When I was first lady, I was privileged to represent our country in 82 countries." What arrogance! She may have felt like she was representing our country, but a first lady can't do that.

    July 26, 2007 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  5. Kaseam, Philly PA

    Who the hell cares about McCain's thoughts? Your campaign is over dude. Nobody wants an old loser to lead the country. Your vision is tired. Fall back.

    July 26, 2007 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  6. Kim, Sacramento, CA

    If the fact that Romney and McCain agree with Clinton doesn't tell you that a vote for Hillary is a vote for politics as usual I don't know what does.

    Obama is the one to vote for if we really want to change this country and turn it around the the awesome place it should be.

    July 26, 2007 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  7. Lance, Los Angeles, CA.

    Obama was absolutely right. Look at what he said in context. Of course you have to do groundwork before you meet with any leader good or bad. He wasn't speaking of blindly "having them over for tea." He was saying the time for blustering and non-communication is past, which is exactly what Hilary has said. She is just pandering and trying to pick a fight. To his credit, Obama hasn't lay down on this issue, he's been swinging full force back at Clinton, proving that he's got the mettle that Kerry lacked. Kerry would have let himself get tagged a whimp, but Obama, no way is that dude a wimp. Look at him, he's fierce, he's determined, and the more the country knows about him, the more he's going to be unstoppable. Clinton is scared, plain and simple.

    July 26, 2007 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  8. Lance, Los Angeles, CA.

    To me, Obama is a visionary leader. He has far more experience in the real world than Clinton or any of the other candidates. Everything I hear and read about him furthers this. He was a civil rights attorney, he worked to rise people above their stations. He is the kind of leader that comes along once a generation if we're lucky. I've just read "the Audacity of Hope" and it was so stirring, so clear, so clearly written not by a ghost writer but in the voice of the man himself. Barry Obama is the real deal, he's the sort of fighter that we need oh so desperately in these trying times. I would go door to door for this candidate, I would believe he would look at any issue either foriegn or domestic with clear eyes and make decisions that were both humane and smart for our country and the world. The other candidates all strike me as fodder for lobbists, career politicians. I remember how moved I was when I heard his speech during Kerry's convention. He is indeed a uniter, someone who can bring this sadly divided dis union back into union again. People will put paintings and photos on their walls of this man in the same way they do JFK or MLK. Mark my words, America and the world will prosper under President Obama. To see that happen I'd gladly travel to Ohio, to South Carolina, to Iowa, or anywhere else I needed to go to ensure he gets a fair shot. That's all the man needs, is one good fair shot. Given his due he'll do us right. Do the research. Don't be a lemming. Read about him, read his own words. They aren't sound bites, they're living, breathing, human thoughts full of compassion and common sense, stength and integrity. Really look at this candidate. Do your kids and their kids the biggest favor of our lives.

    July 26, 2007 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  9. Banjo, Atlanta Ga.

    It's time for change. The politics of yester years are no more,gone with the wind it has, Mrs clinton wake up its 2008 and its Obama time...we love this GUY..he is just so BILL CLINTON like, dont you get it!!!
    OBAMA 08'

    July 27, 2007 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  10. Anonymous

    This country was founded on the belief
    that diplomacy should be used with other countries. Remember the 1790's. This country wonders why other countries hate us, but they don't even open their eyes enough to see that it's because of the repulsive arrogance of people like Hillary Clinton. Who is she to think that she's above talking to the enemies. Who are we to think we can invade countries as we wish. Take a look at Operation Northwoods. Let's not let that happen this time.

    July 27, 2007 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  11. Joe, Marietta, GA.

    Stop looking at me! Stop touching me! Why is she looking at me! I'm not your friend!
    Problem resolution can only be addressed thru communication – period. You can't say, "let's talk" but only with preconditions that you admit I am right?
    GO OBAMA!!!

    July 27, 2007 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  12. Ron Partin, Detroit, Michigan

    There is nothing wrong about agreeing with Clinton whether your a Democrat, or a Republican! That's what intelligent people do! Quite the opposite from Obama who will disagree just to be "politically correct". He has already shown a lack of respect for other constituents. Hilary has my vote!

    July 27, 2007 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  13. Big Al, Chicago IL

    My Uncle Sal always told me, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” Obama knows this too. Smart man.

    July 27, 2007 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  14. Jo Petersen

    There's something about Hillary that makes me cringe. I want to like her and support her but it feels hollow. Obama needs to be seasoned. If he was as smart as he claims to be, he would have waited eight years to run and then would have walked away with the election. He didn't do that which tells me he's too impetuous and believes his handlers more than his own mind. We've had enough of that. I think John Edwards as President, Hillary as VP and Bill Richardson as Sec. of State would be ideal. I like Richardson but his talent would be wasted as Pres.

    July 27, 2007 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  15. TZ, Cincinnati, Ohio

    As an non-US citizen, I'd have to say in an ideal world yes we should do what Obama said. But please remember who these leaders are! They didn't become the world's outcasts because they are victims of their circumstances.

    Thousands upon thousands of people died during their rules and millions more are oppressed as we speak.

    Would you really sit with Hitler or Stalin wannabes unconditionally?

    July 27, 2007 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Hey I know, lets have Kim Jong Il at Camp David. Or even better, lets have Mugabe flown on Air Force One direct to the White House, and let him stay in the Lincoln Bedroom. No, Ive got it, its brilliant, we can have all the dictators come for a huge golf tournament. Then well sit them down and tell them what bad bad boys they are being, and if they dont stop, were going to send them a strongly worded letter telling them exactly that.

    The world is laughing at us right now, I hope you realize that...

    July 27, 2007 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  17. Tony, New York, NY

    Here's a black man who is for Hillary...Obama's campaign is led by too many white LIBERALS, he only claims his blackness and religion when it's to his advantage (he should be claiming his bi-racialness all the time), his only issue is he didn't vote for the war (when of course he didn't because he wasn't in the Senate), he blames everyone else for the negative tactics his team ocassionally use, his statement during the debate was a blunder and now he's trying to clean it up and finally using this as an opportunity to talk about something other than he didn't vote for the war...starting this spat only hurts the democrats...what has Obama done in his 2 years in the senate, nothing other than want to be president.

    July 27, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |