April 25th, 2008
12:30 PM ET
6 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. TRUE

    yes, they want the looney left in the white house so that there's no substantive policy in place to fight global crimes and also because no one knows what or who barak really is and means globally no one would really pay any attn to his borrowed speeches! HILLARY 2008; if not, then McCain.

    April 25, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Keylet

    Art, I heard the same story back when you guys said Kerry was going to win in a landslide in '04.

    April 25, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Ric

    Democrats for Mc Cain '08!! Donate today!!

    April 25, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. NC voter

    I will NEVER vote for Obama for this exact reason.

    April 25, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. Dylan

    Good greif, Johnny. More Rovian slime from a guy who claims to not be a Bush-clone. This old man is pathetic.

    4 more years of endless war and recession? Vote McSame!

    April 25, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. kim nyc

    He's really counting on dumb americans falling for this stuff!!! Well I'm sure there's a few of them out there, but there's more educated folk than them i hope

    obama 08

    April 25, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. Amy R.

    More politics of FEAR. This is all the Republicans have after screwing up our economy and getting us in this dumb war.

    April 25, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. MC, Maryland

    I don't care what Hamas thinks. I'm sure Hames has said a lot of things that Americans chooses to ignore, now all of a sudden McCain wants us to pay attention to what they said.

    April 25, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. Montana is Obama Country

    What... This is "fear-mongering" at it's finest..

    Talk about fear-mongering desperation... Yes.. We..Can... change the old thinking habits of elitist politians like John Mcbush..

    John McCain- This is – No Country for Old Men..

    April 25, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. Pam

    Umm, what happened to McCain wanting a clean campaign? He claims he doesn't want the North Carolina republican party running that commercial, then he comes out with this crap?

    April 25, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. shirley

    Can't find any dirt on Senator Obama so have to reach out to Hama and Rev. Wright and what someone he knew 40 years ago 'said'. There is lots of dirt on Hillary and it isn't second hand, why isn't any of it being printed? Makes you wonder.

    April 25, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. Helene

    The fear factor AGAIN ! We have heard this for the last 8 years. And it is enough, enough, enough. Dont' insult our intelligence, McSame !

    April 25, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. Realist

    Obama will never win the General Election! He has tremendously hurt the Democratic Party this year. By the time this is finished I doubt he will even be able to retain his Senate seat.

    April 25, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. Blake, San Diego

    Senator McCain is like a little mime trapped inside a box. Thought processes like his are closed-minded and limit the potential of the human race.

    Hate only breeds hate. It's time our nation became more diplomatic and less of a bully and strived to restore the principles on which it was founded.

    Democrats '08

    April 25, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    I am certain that both Hamas and al-Queda would prefer to put John McCain on their recruiting posters. The alternatives, Hillary Clinton or Barack Hussein Obama, will be no where near as effective as the good Senator from Arizona for attracting potential martyrs.

    Of course the new president will never come close to equalling the terrorists' chief poster boy ... the ineffectual George W. Bush, who has allowed the Taliban and al-Queda to regroup while his soldiers chased mythological WMDs in a country of no consequence.

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

    Here we go again...trying to play the fear card.

    April 25, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  17. jj

    oops

    April 25, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  18. Greg, NY

    How bout it being a good thing that they like Obama? Maybe they'll actually negotiate with someone they like rather than have them stay with the same attitude of hating us and Israel.

    April 25, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. lynn

    Until we have a REAL diplomat in power who can bring the sides together we will be in constant war. The sane people realuize there is always two perspectives.

    McCain is as dangerous as Bush?Cheney.

    April 25, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  20. Deborah

    Enough of you already McSame. Enough of the gun-weilding, War Monger talk. ENOUGH already.

    April 25, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  21. Bill

    Yup. Here's the respectful debate he was promising. It went the way of the dinosaur, his objection to the "agents of intolerance," and his common sense on who most needs tax relief. I just want to say that this man used to have integrity.

    April 25, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. Ray

    Hamas wants Obama in the White House because he has a record of embracing terrorists.

    April 25, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. Tom Baker

    Marshall, absolutely. Same old horse manure that Israel can do no wrong while they keep building new settlements in the West Bank.Maybe it's me but "worst nightmare" doesn't sound very diplomatic.

    April 25, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  24. Th3rdpwr

    This is the kind of conservative, rightwing, narrow-minded, thinking that has put this country in its current condition; it's frightening. I gave McCain credit for a little more integrity.

    April 25, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. Neutral

    Not only HAMAS but Louis Farrakhan and THE BLACK PANTHER, they ALL endorse Obama.

    April 25, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
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