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. Joe, Northern Virginia

    Same ... Same... washington dirty politics that has failed the American people. Try some other dirty politics MCBUSH... fear mongering isn't going to work for you this time around!!!

    April 25, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. Indiana U

    Since when is Clyburn the spokesperson for black people? Not all blacks even feel that way. I wish CNN would stop interviewing people who feel like they represent all of the black population.

    April 25, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. Jim F

    Yeah, it sure would be terrible if the US had fewer enemies.

    April 25, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. Anna

    McCain is a narrow minded military elitist.

    April 25, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. Ratgurl

    **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 peolple 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 they hear!!!

    April 25, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. don

    Didn't they say that Osama wanted Kerry too?

    April 25, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. George Shaw

    Is McCain the only one too dim to see that Hamas would know that their explicit support for a candidate would hurt him in American eyes? Perhaps Hamas is most afraid of an Obama administration and is hoping that by appearing to favour him they will hurt him. After all, the Replublicans have given Islamic militancy it's biggest boost since the crusades. Hamas & Al Queda must be praying for McCain to win.

    April 25, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. Sam

    The fact that many americans will buy this bull is a testament to how low the average IQ is in that country

    April 25, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. jason

    1) the Hamas knows what we think of them. It's obvious that all they have to do to get someone elected into our presidency is to express support for their contender.

    or

    2) i know it may be a little hard to accept that not everyone we call an enemy is a barbarian suicide bomber, but maybe the Hamas actually like the idea of a peaceful solution.

    April 25, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. Woody

    Who wouldn't want the person elected to talk and ask questions "First" before pulling the trigger and then looking for solutions to some very difficult problems. Wake up America! Do not take your prejudice or racism into the voting booth. God Bless America.

    April 25, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. Hillary

    Wow Mccain's campaign is so respectful! NOT! The whole world wants Obama in the White House. He is the only hope that we have left since you and the Clintons are both warmongers. It's obvious that Mccain is afraid that Obama will win, but why can't he hit Obama on "issues" instead of "fear"....OH I forgot, because Mccain sucks

    April 25, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. Chris Gromek

    Mmmm that's some delicious inflammatory rhetoric.

    April 25, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. artie in colorado

    So now we are supposed to let other countries scare us into electing "their worst nightmare"? We have to let this clown know that fear tactics and war mongering will not work with the American people any longer.

    April 25, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. David

    As my friend Bill would say "Maannnn thats a bunch of BULL"

    April 25, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  15. johnny

    i THOUGHT MCCAIN WAS GOING TO RUN AN HONORABLE CAMPAIGN? SO MUCH FOR THAT IDEA

    April 25, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. Amber

    Oh shoot, McCain is in the beginning stages of Alzheimers! This guys is crazy!

    April 25, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. Obama all the way...

    Hey Bush-lite,

    Go take your geratol and prune juice, drive your stepford wife to her next plastic surgery appointment and then go take your mid-afternoon nap. You shouldn't be allowed to talk about anything you don't know about.

    So, to sum it up, you can talk about your war in Iraq and oil.

    April 25, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. Evan

    Oh John McCain, how far you've fallen. And here I was just the other day thinking that an Obama vs. McCain campaign could be the cleanest in recent history. My bad.

    April 25, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. -K-

    Can somebody say fear tatics. Yep and didn't he just go down to NO where all the blacks are to talk about helping them. I wonder if dummy understands that when he says stuff like that it kinda of reflects how he feels about blacks, not particuly Hamas. You see there are more people of color and mixed races that look like Obama and carry different names like Obama and are US Citizens also. Thanks McShame.

    April 25, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. math man

    I believe that Obama is the most likely candidate to bring world peace to the planet. His mild manner invites open disucssion, not closed competition.

    April 25, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. rj PA

    Can someone fill me in on the story about Hillary's affair I heard on a blog that was heard on TV?
    It is a person that was on staff at White House and they tryed to keep it quiet. If true wow not a good time for her to see it come out

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

    MAYBE THEY WANT HIM BECAUSE HE FAIR AND TREAT PEOPLE LIKE HUMANS, THERE McCAIN GOES WITH HIS FEAR MONGERING, POLITICS AS USUAL.

    April 25, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. Svetlana

    My friends, this is a really cheap tactic. What we really need to realize, my friends, is that "McCain't" would be our own wort nightmare, my friends, right here at home.

    April 25, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  24. ian

    So, let's figure this out. Yousef and Ortega favour Obama. They cannot be hardline Marxists because if so they would want "to increase the contradiction..." Perhaps they see an opening where they can start a dialogue and eventually work with the USA. But McCain is deaf to these signals.

    April 25, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. D.Kimbro OHIO

    John McCain is too silly to realize that if anyone has the choice of healthy discourse as opposed to bombs, of a nuclear shield over the middle-east they would choose the voice of reason.

    April 25, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
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