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. spyturtle

    Damaging the future of our country again. Planting seeds of hate and doubt. McCain is not equipped to lead this counrty and bring us back to peace and respect. Go Obama!

    April 25, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. Observer

    So being liked by Arabs/Muslim is a disqualification factor. Having a Arabic sounding middle name is disqualification. Of course they will never to think why he is liked. It isn't worthy to think of those lowly creatures as to why they should like or dislike someone.
    I wonder what will be the credibility of the next American president preaching the value of love and tolerance in the middle-east peace summit. Actions speak louder....

    April 25, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. noemi in los angeles

    That's because Obama is a unifier and negotiates for peace... unlike you McSame!!

    April 25, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. KIRBY


    April 25, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. andrea, Illinois

    He must not have had his afternoon nap. Seniors who are sleep deprived have a tendency to say stupid stuff like that.
    Most people in Europe are watching the primaries very carefully. It's the general opinion that they would prefer Obama in the White House. Bush, the Clintons and everybody who supports or has supported the war in Iraq are little liked in Europe......

    Just in general: statements like the ones from McCain are very contra productive and simply STUPID!!

    April 25, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. Shawna

    Excuse me but a REPUBLICAN, was in charge of the White House, Senate, and House when Sep. 11th happened. So why are Americans believing that republican John McCain is going to make a difference in how Hamas or any other radical terrorist act and think towards America. They have used their philosophy and it has failed, republicans have destroyed are standing in the world, further injured the worlds resources, damaged what was the strongest economy in the worlds

    April 25, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  7. DefinitelyDem

    What McCain FAILS to mention is that these are not the only groups who want Obama in…. the whole REST OF THE WORLD wants Obama as our POTUS!!! The people in this world that are responsible for governmental issues, policy making, & descisions want someone they can talk to, not someone who's gonna yell "(expletive deleted)YOU" at them if he doesn't like what he hears!!!

    Pay attention y'all!

    April 25, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. Jill

    Of course Hamas would rather have Obama.So would Ahmadijinecrazy in Iran.They will a do whatever and Obama will give them a stern talking to

    April 25, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |

    If you want to find reasons to dislike someone you will. But tell yourself the truth and admit your misgivings, prejudices, and fears. Unfortuantely, you're not fooling anyone. That is why there are still so many divides in this country. How unfortunate.

    April 25, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Yes we can!

    if you, clintons and the rest of the "yes war" voters would have paid attention to all the signs and what the enemies were saying, we wouldn't even be in a ridiculous war...how about that?

    April 25, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Geoff in La.

    Jeez, someone give Obama a box of tissues already. Is he seriously going to cry about people not running a clean campaign – while at the same time making personal attacks against them – for the rest of primary season?

    April 25, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Stupid Americans

    ====What Has Sen.Mcain Done For Us While He Was In The Congress?==

    April 25, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA







    April 25, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. James

    You know something about John McCain, listening to him is like listening to your grampa talk politics. Sure you love him, he is a great guy, but you have to think, "Did people really think that way back then?"

    April 25, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Yes we can!

    Mcbush is not stupid....the point is to get it out in the air so the media can feed it. Just like the NC RNC ads that are running on Obama and Rev. Wright, of course he's going to denounce the ad...it's get's the media to play it anyway and discuss it....it's all and act.....i just wish the media would go back to journalism 101....get the facts, report the facts and not half truths and snippets.....i'm loosing total respect for the media....hillary doesn't have to get money for ads....all these networks for will play it for her anyway...

    April 25, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. AK

    If McCain is so worried about Hamas, he should try to become the president of Israel. Give me a break.

    April 25, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. Eric San Diego

    Give me a break McCain. It is not like Obama is going to go join Hamas. How can we ever expect to have peace if our enemies always hate our leaders? (People like you and Bush). McCain, you are America's worst nightmare.

    April 25, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. Emma

    Is this the same McCain who promised to run a clean campaign.???
    Talk about hypocrisy. Please talk about issues and not the same old nonsense that defines the republican party

    April 25, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  19. eddie, New York City.

    Not this time McBush! We gonna choice Hope against Fear!

    Obama/Bloomberg '08!

    April 25, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  20. Ephy

    McCain needs one more medical check.
    It was reported he more than often gets crazy.

    April 25, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. Innocent question

    Does McSame knows the difference between Hamas and Fatah or he confuses them like Al-Qaada and Iran?

    Sincerely, Senile dementia

    April 25, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. eddie, New York City.

    Not this time McBush! We gonna chose Hope against Fear!

    Obama/Bloomberg '08!

    April 25, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. BigDave

    So bascially what McCain is suggesting is that with him as President, there will be no chance for any peace with Isreal. And he is the "experienced" diplomat?? Diplomacy requires bringing people together, whether you like them or not. Obama is the only candidate left in the race who can do this.

    I think its very clear who George Bush wants to be the next President. People can make judgements accordingly.

    April 25, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. Quinn - PA

    Hamas, another Super delegate endorsement!

    April 25, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. Conservate Nebraskan

    As a lifelong GOPer I'm looking forward to a return to diplomacy. If Hamas wants Obama, all the better, if it will help bring Hamas and Israel to the negotiating table.

    April 25, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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