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. RFP

    For the love of Pete, Senator McCain!

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

    Wow. Iran, Hamas and Al-Qaida have been the biggest beneficiary of the Iraq War which Bush started and McCain wants to continue. John McCain will be the best thing for Hamas.

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

    Uh..Who cares about whom Hamas wants to be in the White House? What does Hamas have to do with whom we want to be in the White House? All the arguments are such a distraction to what is sorely lacking in this country... a sound domestic policy. We need to get rid of this Old Guard, and fast.

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

    Of course Hamas likes Obama, he's the first candidate EVER to offer to at least invite them to the table at peace conferences. He's also the only candidate to acknowledge the fact that Israel hasn't always been the greatest of neighbors, either.

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

    Don't moderate post ! if you dare!

    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 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. Sandi

    And so it begins....this is what the fall will be like in a McCain vs. Obama campaign....4 more years of what we have barely survived for the last 7+ ???? God help us!

    April 25, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. DEE in fla

    Mccain is SO OLD>>>>>>>>>>wat if his dentures fall out during a speech lol


    OBAMA>>>young, fresh, and a new start

    OBAMA 08

    April 25, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. j. king, colorado springs

    Shame on you McCain. Campaign on your policies and solutions to America's problems. Stop the madness already!!!

    April 25, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. Miles

    Bin Laden wants McCain to be president. So does Hitler. I read it on a blog somewhere.

    John McCain is a disgraceful coward. I expected better than this from him.

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

    Politics of fear, it's the only thing McCain has going for him.

    April 25, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. Eric in Colorado

    As a Jew with family in Israel I have no love loss for Hamas. Nevertheless, not only do I not take comfort in Mr. McCain's remarks, I find them somewhat frightening. It just reinforces my belief that Mr. McCain, who apparently views war as noble, has never seen a war he does not like and that if the unthinkable happens and he is elected, rahter than feeling safe, we should be very afraid.

    April 25, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. david goldman for OBAMA






    April 25, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. shane

    Its not just our "enemies" that want Obama as President. ITs our ALLIES as well! Polls taken around the world show that OBAMA is the WORLDS FAVORITE! And maybe Hamas favors Obama because he knows what compromise, empathy, negotiation mean to the world affairs. But its just a fear mongering tactic by JOhn Mcsame.

    April 25, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Mike from Calgary

    I'm shocked and surprised to see McCain talk out of both sides of his mouth – McCain does support Hagee's positions, but Obama is presumed to support Hamas? I had expected better from John McCain! He obviously sets lesser standards for himself than those he seeks to impose on others. He seems more and more like the Clintons – (the family that brought self-service to the public service – $110M into their own pockets eh?) . He's mirroring Hillary – the lady who wants to be president, swearing to uphold the laws of the United States. while at the same time she will not honour the rules of her own party, and she is reneging on her promises re Florida and Michigan's perverted elections. If she can't honour her own agreements, promises and party rules, and if she "mismatches her words with the facts" when she believes she can get away with such lies to her own advantage, no wonder her negatives have soared and she is now 23 points behind Obama nationally. No wonder the ignorant, indifferent and uneducated voters favour her, No wonder the older white voters favour her. So what if she promises health care, pharmacare and jobs .... and squanders the resources that would fund them by diverting such tax dollars to the war in Iraq, She was too busy or uncaring to read the recommendations against authorizing the use of military force in Iraq, and has cost America trillions of dollars, 30,000 casualties and 4,050 Americans their lives.

    It's clear who speaks the truth, and who will bring about real Change.


    April 25, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. Indiana Jim

    "I think that people should understand that I will be Hamas's worst nightmare," = War-Monger.
    If it walks like one, sounds like one, and smells like one, Must be one..

    Perhaps McShame and McHillary can help each other hold the umbrella of deterrence, (nuke em) over the middle east, while this country continues to decay.
    Obama 08

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

    and what's this about McCain being Hamas's worst nightmare. Is he going to drop bombs on their children just like he did in Vietnam?

    April 25, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. Susan MO

    This is critically scary.

    April 25, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. PCS / North Carolina

    Wow. HAMAS WANTS MCCAIN. Because when he attacks Iran and stay in Iraq for 100yrs, HAMAS WOULD HAVE A FIELD DAY RECRUITING TERRORIST.

    April 25, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  19. Frank (Cleveland)

    Ok, Ill buy that Hamas and the Sandistas want Obama.

    However, so does the UK
    So does Italy
    So does The Netherlands
    So does Germany
    So does Australia
    So does most of Africa (individual nations too numerous to post)
    Heck, head to Iceland, they will tell you they want Obama

    I wager that McCain's words of "He will be Hamas's worst nightmare" will come back to bite him from the standpoint that "a continued Republican presence in the whitehouse is the world's nightmare"

    April 25, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. its very clear??????

    what have we learned from the Democratic race? That Nancy Peloci wants to be the highest women in office and will do anything include divide the party to make sure she achieves this.

    The DNC calls the race fair. Even if you don't count FL and MI this race is anything but fair. And there will be many disinfrancised voters all over the US.

    Talk about the race card being thrown. Pa voters vote for the candidate they like best and are told oh they voted for Clinton based on Race...... how is this good for the DEM party if you want those people to come out in NOV?

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

    John, YOU will be the US's worst nightmare if elected because you are basically a clone of Bush in terms of continuing this wrong war, his ruinous tax policies and his ignorance of foreign affairs and economics.

    April 25, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  22. What Really Happend

    Good ole politics of fear. Thanks McSame

    April 25, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  23. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    April 25, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  24. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA



    April 25, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  25. CW in DC

    How about this spin – maybe the Hamas want Obama to be president so the USA would stop being so hypocritical about being a nation where everyone is created equal. Maybe they want Obama to be president because they are sick of dealing with the likes of war-mongerers who view everyone as being a threat to the USA. Could it be they want Obama to be president because for once, they can stop hating politicians in off that thinking they fun the world and think they can fix the world while the forcing democracy on them and not showing any form of democracy at home? Stick that in your depends garments and soak it up.

    April 25, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
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