April 25th, 2008
12:30 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain: 'It's very clear who Hamas wants' in the White House

McCain said Friday Hamas wants Obama to be elected president.

McCain said Friday Hamas wants Obama to be elected president.

(CNN) - John McCain said Friday that “it’s clear who Hamas wants to be the next president of the United States” - the second time in as many weeks that his campaign has referenced positive remarks by Ahmed Yousef, a member of that group, about Barack Obama.

On Friday, the presumptive Republican nominee was asked about the Hamas leader’s comments on a campaign conference call with bloggers.

“…I think it's very clear who Hamas wants to be the next president of the United States,” said McCain. “So apparently has [Sandinista leader] Danny Ortega and several others. I think that people should understand that I will be Hamas's worst nightmare...If Senator Obama is favored by Hamas I think people can make judgments accordingly.”

A week ago, the Arizona senator’s campaign sent supporters a fundraising e-mail that said Hamas approved of Obama’s foreign policy vision, and is hoping for his victory this fall.

The Obama campaign condemned the remark. "We want to take Senator McCain at his word that he wants to run a respectful campaign, but that is becoming increasingly difficult when he continually tries to use the politics of association and makes claims he knows not to be true to advance his campaign," said Obama campaign spokesman, Hari Sevugan.

"This type of politics of division and distraction, not only lead to a campaign not worthy of the American people, but also has failed to help our families for too long."

McCain adviser Steve Schmidt told CNN's Dana Bash that the Hamas view was "a fair issue for the American people to ponder should he be the Democratic nominee for president."

“Hamas has said they want Barack Obama to win. The reason for that is his policy. He wants to negotiate with the terrorist-funding, nuclear-aspiring, holocaust-denying, Israel-threatening dictator of Iran.

“This election is being watched all around the world. The Hamas spokesman made his comments because of his [Obama’s] policy pronouncements.”

McCain himself told reporters Friday afternoon that the Hamas nod was "just a fact."

Hamas, apparently their North American spokesperson is endorsing Senator Obama. People can make their own judgment from that. I don't view that as anything but a statement of fact. If that.... is wrong, that the North American spokesman of Hamas has not endorsed Senator Obama, I'd be happy to retract my statement, and I hope there'll be corrections in the media that state otherwise."

(UPDATED with campaign, McCain response)

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (295 Responses)
  1. Mike

    RNC at work...

    April 25, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. RT

    Fearmongering....blah, blah, blah

    April 25, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. Nick Mann

    This is not fear, its reality. If communist dictators, moveOn.org, Michael Moore and terrorists are publically supporting a candidate.....than you don't want to vote for that candidate. Period.

    April 25, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. A Proud and Free American

    Obama was right not to have left his church. Rev Wright is a pastor and not God, so those who condemn Obama should know that true christians pray to God and not their pastors as some seem to do and believe.

    The so-called Catholic voters who condemn Obama for not leaving his church are nothing than a bunch of HYPOCRITS. Why didn't they leave their church when the priests were sexually molesting little boys.

    What a shame or is it that we are packed with bigotry.

    April 25, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. Right...

    A man that confuses Iraq and Iran and Shia' and Sunni Islam is too dumb to deserve anyone's vote.

    In other words, McCain lost his credibility long ago....

    Buh bye old man...back to the rest home for ya

    April 25, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. Tyrone Brown, Seattle, WA

    McCain's Math: Fear + Arabs / Dark-Skinned People = Barack Obama

    McCain's Grade: An "F" for failing the American people again by advancing the Bush Administration's domestic policy of "division and fear."

    Tyrone Brown
    Seattle, WA

    April 25, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. Calett

    Obama likes to play the part of taking the high road while all his dirty work is done by his surrogates or his campaign staff. By the way, he has never told a straight story regarding Rev. Wright. Sitting in his church for 20 years and never hearing any inflammatory remarks . . well, maybe on second thought he is telling the truth. Maybe, Wright's remarks are not really inflammatory for him because he feels the same as he does.

    a quote from his book, i will side with my muslin brothers if white America dose not yield to them

    April 25, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Roots of Bitterness in Illinois

    What next will Obama be accused of???
    I think we have all had enough of the "fear tactics"
    Give it a rest McCain

    April 25, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. BK

    I see Mr Mccain is also playing politics again. It's time for all you old white men to step aside, I am not an american (thank god.) Don't you people get it, people abroad have no respect for your country. Go and look at your american history.For once take a look at your country.Stop lying to yourslves.The British people told Tony Blair that he was wrong to follow you americans into war with Iraq, they sure showed him the door.... there is democracy for you.
    Making a statement like that regarding Hamas, is very backwards. Stop! feeding fear in your people. It was forty years ago Reverand King died fighting for oppression and injustice in America to stop,it still continues today...look at New Orleans lower ninth ward. Shame on you America. You have to run charities to take care of your vulnerable citizens. Celebraties are the ones being the government now. The Repiblican party has brought the country to it's knees. Why should vetran who fought for your country be living on the streets,have no health care plans etc. The americam dreams have been taking away from the people. So you dont take pork money..Big deal.. Maybe you should and use it to fix some of your schools. The problem in America is the people like you. Nothing will get done. Because you all have no hearts. But your citizen are confused, they have being lied to so often, they don't know the difference anymore

    April 25, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. Nando, Florida

    This is why this MCCRAZY will be the end of the WORLD!!!!!!! AMERICA this man will be the END OF CIVILIZATION as we know it.


    April 25, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. Dave

    I used to like McCain, but what a disappointment he's turning out to be. He's proven he has no clue what's going on in Iraq or in Iran, and that he has no knowledge of the economy. His ill-treatment of his wife and his buddying up to guys like Hagee and Parsley just make it worse.

    I had my doubts that Obama could win the general election with the damage that's been done to him by Wright and other issues, but I'm starting to believe that once the American people have a chance to take a really good look at John McCain, the possibility of a McCain presidency is going to scare the hell out of them.

    April 25, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. Carol

    I know McCain is using fear to win the election but I consider who Obama is to be the biggest plus to stop terror attacks. Maybe if someone other than the "typical" white candidate becomes President, then enemies will hate us less and Obama can turn some enemies into allies. I feel that's why its important to make Obama President so he can smooth over the mess that has been made the last few years. I believe that for this reason and because he's biracial and has been exposed to different cultures and religions growing up, he can connect with our enemies in a way Hillary or McCain can't

    April 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  13. McCain Sucks

    McCain would actually have a chance to win if he wasn't such a moron. Americans can see right through this fear mongering nonsense. This guy is a fossil from old republican politics. He copies Regan's speech style. DUDE WE ARE NOT IN THE '80's ANYMORE. This guy is the most lame duck candidate from yesterday I have ever seen. "My friend's please believe I am Ronald Regan's reincarnation." Hamas likes Obama, yeah Hamas AND EVERYONE ELSE! You are an idiot McCain. The only reason why Hamas and other such organizations exist is because Regan pitted the Muslims against "the evil atheistic forces of the Soviet Union," and we funded Muslim geurilla warfare against the soviets, we trained the very terroists we are now fighting thanks to Regan!! His foreign policy was disasterous, and this is what McCain emulates! LOOK ALL THIS UP FOLKS, and tell me I'm wrong!

    April 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. KG

    Who was the politician in Iowa (Steve King)? who said "the terrorists will be dancing in the streets if Obama is elected" – Maybe he is right. Who else is out there? The other Obama "Circle of Friends" (Tony Rezko, Nadhmi Auchi (Iraq billionaire that aided Saddam Hussein), Rashid Khalidi, William Ayers, Bernadette Dhorn (Anyone else???)

    April 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. EC

    YES McCain, nice try.

    Geeezzzz talk about cheesy. YOUR comments lack any level of common sense.

    The WORLD wants Obama as President, they KNOW he will bridge this country and the world and move us forward instead of backwards!


    GO GO OBAMA '08

    April 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. MM

    McCain is an idiot. His advisors, also idiots, must be telling him to make these remarks (because I don't think he would be able to think it up on his own) in order to get into the news for free because we know that not many people have been donating to his campaign. I admired him at the beginning of this whole campaign stuff but his idiotic remarks have totally turned me off. If Clinton steals the nomination I may have to waste my vote on Nadar. My state will be going democratic anyway, and at least I can make sure that my vote is not part of whatever "mandate" Clinton or McCain will claim.

    April 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA







    April 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. Why not?????

    They have to have heard about Rev. Wright and his connection to Obama. Why wouldn't they want sympathizer in the White House, makes perfect sense to me..

    April 25, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  19. Chris, Bethesda, Maryland

    McCain, I've been one of your supporters since before you started to run, and you are really starting to piss me off.

    Your whole appeal in 2000 was that you ran a straight-talk campaign instead of the slimy, greasy, insider campaign George Bush ran against you. If you have any desire to keep my vote, you'd better drop the fearmongering.

    April 25, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  20. H Arnold

    Perhaps Senator Obama will provide a way to dialogue with the enemy which will never happen with the other 2 candidates. If we had more dialogue and less war talk, we probably would not have the mess that we have now..........My fellow Americans, a vote for Senator McCain will be a vote for the draft because his words will spark a situation that the Democratic-controlled Congress will not be able to overturn.

    April 25, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. T-BONE

    Jeez you republicans and clintonites are something right out of a comic book. Its so obvious that the Republicans want Clinton to be the nominee, even black america realizes with clinton being the nominee that it rejuvenates the GOP like CRAZY. No way will she beat McCain, no way and im a democrat.

    On the other side, THE CLINTONS BELIEVE THEY ARE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY and can do with it what they want, even if it means destroying obama and the democratic party. You republicans are very smart, you love the same ol same ol politics even when you KNOW BUSH has destroyed this country for the most part. Doesnt matter now for repubs or clintonites, we are doomed if either makes it to the white house! SPEAK THE TRUTH!

    Lastly, as an african american, i was so pro clintons, but once BILLARY steals this nomination from obama (AND THEY WILL) you can bet that the african american community will not fall in line with the clintons and they know they need our vote to win. Not gonna happen, we see right through all of this fear and prejudicial crap! Oh republicans continue to post here as democrats, your doing a great job, IDIOTS!

    April 25, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  22. Chicagoway

    Good lord Mccain! Yes, Hamas wants Barack because he will seek out diplomacy and face to face interaction with the iranian president. What? Maybe if we had tried that before we would not be bogged down in a war that has killed our economy. Mccain takes issue with Obama's policies because I guess he believes the best way to deal with Iran is to relentlessly bomb them. All this while the networks proclaim that Mccain has a great chance in the election. WOW

    April 25, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  23. david

    No, McKiller would be America's worst nightmare

    April 25, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  24. Tom,des moines


    April 25, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  25. kathleen retired Professional w/woman for obama

    Yesterday it was, McCain first visit in New Orleans appearing like
    he cared. And, also yesterday it was I can't stop the Gop Billionaire
    ads against Obama that will begin to destroy Obama in N.C. and Ind.
    and follow the Primary trail all the way to the end, trashing Obama on
    the local news channels. Obama has not a chance to win with those
    kind of ads.
    Today it is Hamas wants Obama to win the election. Why is that
    McCain, Hannity, Rove, want Hillary to win so bad? Google Clintons
    practically "criminal" past to see for yourself what the Reps. have in
    store for Miss Hillary. She will learn to hate debates. They will turn
    her own game on her.

    April 25, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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