April 25th, 2008
12:30 PM ET
7 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. Victoria

    I can safely file this under: Politics as usual.

    April 25, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. Mike, KS

    The politics of fear is the only chance in hell McCain has to win. I'm going to with the politics of courage. I'm going with Barack, all the way to the White House.

    Obama 08

    April 25, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. Oracle99

    Just more fear and Carl Rovian tactics aimed at the black man in the contest. The question to be aksed is why McCain feels Hamas wants Obama in the white house? Could it be they want us out of the Middle East where we have no business being in the first place?

    April 25, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. M, KS

    The politics of fear is the only chance in hell McCain has to win. I'm going to go with the politics of courage. I'm going with Barack, all the way to the White House.

    Obama 08

    April 25, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. Grant

    It's the same old "fear" campaign strategy. I will reject fear and vote for HOPE. Obama '08.

    April 25, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. maria Mtl, Can.

    Hey old man go to sleep it's getting late for you...

    April 25, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. Erik

    His day has come and gone. McHasbeen should doze off again so he doesn't get too cranky.

    April 25, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. Ernesto Lopez

    One might wonder, why Hillary attacks McCain and he doesn't do anything, but Obama has to do nothing to be the subject of McCain's attacks

    April 25, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. common sense

    THIS, MY FELLOW AMERICANS IS WHAT WE DEMOCRATS REFER TO AS:

    THE POLITICS OF FEAR...

    MCCAIN: "PEOPLE SHOULD BE SCARED TO VOTE FOR OBAMA, BECAUSE LOOK AT WHO COULD FAVOR HIM."

    THIS IS THE MOST NEFARIOUS THING I HAVE EVER HEARD...THE SAME THING COULD BE SAID ABOUT EVERY MIDDLE-EASTERN COUNTRY'S FEELINGS TOWARD GEORGE W. BUSH. THEY ALL KNOW HE IS AN IDIOT AND THAT THEY CAN DEFEAT HIM, JUST AS GWB IS PROVING RIGHT NOW.

    PLEASE AMERICANS, DON'T BELIEVE THE POLITICS OF FEAR.

    April 25, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. Ashley

    This is anti-american–Obama and Osama!!! Get It!!

    April 25, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. Independent

    Wow – really taking the high road on this one, Mr. Straight Talk McCain! Pathetic.

    April 25, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. Sharon Minnesota

    He only repeats what has already been in the news. I happen to agree with him.

    Please don't blame the Clinton's for McCain bringing it up again.

    April 25, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  13. concern citizen

    I am getting frustrated with the comments about Obama and Rev. Wright. Some people are saying Obama is a racist because of something his pastor said. Those words did not come out of Obama's mouth. He should not be held responsible for someone else's actions.
    Second, regarding whether Obama is a racist because of his pastor comments, lets discuss McCain. He receives endorsements from Revs. Hagee and Parsley, who have said discrimanatory comments to people of color, women and gays. We should question whether McCain is a racist and sexist based on the comments of the two revs. that endorse him. McCain has a record of voting no for not having MLK a national holiday as well as equal pay for women. Where is the public outrage on Hagee and Parsley? It is wrong for Rev. Wright to make inflammatory statements, but it is okay for Revs. Hagee and Parsley to make discrimanatory statements. The double standards need to stop. It is not okay for anyone to make inflammatory statements about another racial, sexual or gender group. If we are going to judge a candidate based on the comments his pastor said, then lets do the same to McCain. Fair is fair.

    April 25, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. TWaid

    Any consideration I was giving McCain just went out the window. He should be ashamed of himself.

    April 25, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. Connie

    Well let me make it clear who I want in the White House–Barack Obama.

    O/08

    April 25, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  16. Paul

    So, and what is McCain's point? Is peace around the world not a good thing? I don't understand John.

    April 25, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  17. James

    McBush said the same thing last week and no one paid any intention. Now he wakes up from his nap and says it again. Go back to sleep.

    April 25, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. isn't it ironic?

    This is the ultimate irony for the Obama supporters (the smart and educated people) to ponder:

    IF Obama is our nominee, it is because the Washington Insiders that he speaks against (Superdelegates) GIVE the nomination to him.

    It will NOT be because he convinced the electorate with his inspiring words of hope and change.

    Hillary STILL got 50% of the vote even being sabotaged and throttled and handicapped.

    April 25, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. Eddie G

    That sounds more like something Hillary Clinton would say. I have maintained that if Obama gets the nomination, I will vote for Obama. If Hillary manages to steal the nomination, I have maintained that I would vote for McCain. Now, I will likely stay home if HRC gets the nomination. Very disappointing for McCain to make such an inflammatory insinuation.

    April 25, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  20. gary

    OF COURSE THE HAMAS WANT O.B. HE IS AN INVITATION TO THE TERROIST. AMERICA BETTER WAKE UP BEFORE THERE ISN'T A COUNTRY TO WORRY ABOUT. O.B. HAS BROUGHT NOTHING BUT HATE, RACIST, AND DIVISION . THIS COUNTRY HAS HAD MORE HATE IN IT SINCE O.B. STARTED RUNNING. ITS GOING TO TURN OUT TO BE HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF ALL OVER AGAIN. THE AFRICAN AMERIACANS ARE THREATNING TO RIOT ETC. IF THEIR CANIDATE O.B. DOSNT WIN. WHAT IS THAT TELLING OUR COUNTRY. THIS WHOLE THING IS JUST RACE. GOD HELP THIS COUNTRY BECAUSE THE AMERICANS ARE TO NAIVE AND SCARED OF BRINGING OUT THE REAL TRUTH ON O.B. THE CLINTONS HAVE MORE BACKBONE THAN MANY PEOPLE. GO HRC.

    April 25, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  21. Stacy Clarks, TX

    SHAME ON MCCAIN....WASN'T HE THE ONE THAT CALLED OBAMA OUT SEVERAL TIMES ABOTU DISRESPECTFUL DISHONORABLE CAMPAIGN TACTICTS?!??!

    DEMOCRATS IN 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 25, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  22. Arina

    Peace is unthinkable to the man with the Navy cap. His biggest fear: his war experience being of no use.

    April 25, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. Eddie

    McCain thinks this is bad,in many cultures it is easy to secure respect from your friends but having the respect of your advisary is admireble.I guest this will never happen with him.

    April 25, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. Michael in AZ

    McBush go crawl under the Camelback Mountain where you belong. You are showing your true colors as a racist phony.

    I guess my biggest question of you is where were you when Katrina hit or in the hours thereafter? Were you demonstrating your can do leadership then or is it just another photo op for you?

    I am ashamed to say I supported you at one time.

    You do not deserve to be President. I would have tosay that you need to retire from the Senate, too. Is your idea of diplomacy – nuke em if they don't agree with you! Like HiilBilly?

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

    Here we go....
    9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11

    Can't McCain come up with something viable? Oh, that's right. There ISN'T anything.

    April 25, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
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