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. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA

    ITS GOING TO BE A COLD DAY IN HELL,

    WHEN THIS LUNATIC CAN DIVIDE US,

    WITH HIS WARMONGERING & HATE MONGERING.

    THIS IS THE MAN THAT VOTED AGAINST MLK

    HOLIDAY & VOTED FOR A WAR THAT HAS OUR

    ECONOMY IN THE POOPER.

    April 25, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. Phil in Kansas

    It just goes to show u what we have to choose from, a bitter old woman or a man who is love by the terriosts. It is going to be a very ainteresting campaign.

    April 25, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. Flat-earther, Georgia

    Great! Our choices in the Nov election are going to be an extreme war hawk or an extreme liberal. We will either be spent down to a third rate country or taxed to one.

    April 25, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. mdg

    I'm so afraid!
    Trying that ole fear factor, again – eh, McSame?
    It worked in 2004 but Not This Time!
    When we see people in foreign countries celebrating on our election day, it will be because America has finally regained her senses!

    April 25, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. Jeff M.

    Heck, if your foreign policy was to blow me up first and ask questions later, you'd be my worst nightmare, too.

    April 25, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. Obama Express

    I have absolutely zero respect for McCain now. Obama has no ties to Hamas whatsoever–and for this pathetic excuse for a human being to imply that such is the case for no other reason than to make himself look better by slandering his political opponent is completely reprehensible.

    April 25, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. CANADA VOX

    OLD MAN MACAIN PLAYING THE POLITICS OF FEAR AGAIN. MAYBE JUST MAYBE, OBAMA IS THE MAN TO COMMUNICATE TO THESE MIDDLE EAST RADICAL ELEMENTS, AND CONVEY THAT THE USA IS NOT THE EVIL EMPIRE, ..THEY MIGHT JUST LEAVE EVERYTHING AMERICAN ALONE AND IN THE PROCESS AMERICANS GAIN SOME SENSE OF SECURITY, INSTEAD OF LIVING IN REPUBLICAN GENERATED CONSTANT FEAR. I SEE IT AS A POSITIVE THAT SOME ENEMIES RESPECT OBAMA. MACAIN IS A BUSH GUN SLINGING CLONE, WHO IS INFATUATED WITH WAR.

    April 25, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Illinois

    You're right, McCain. Hamas wants nothing to do with you because you'd stand up to him and his terrorist organization. Obama, on the other hand, would be welcoming them with open arms.....being "understanding" of their way of life. Obama has no idea what he's doing with foreign policy or national security. He'd have us in WW III by the end of his first year in office. Thank God Hillary is going to get the nomination so we don't have to worry about that!

    April 25, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. Peter, DC transplant

    Foreign policy IS THE REASON I'M NO LONGER A REPUBLICAN. I want a leader who is willing to accept differences people have in order to achieve peace. The "american cowboy" attitude perpetuated by Bush, McCain, CLINTON, and many others is what is preventing us from achieving peace. But if you want to play the "look who's supporting who" game, why not ask Palestinian CHILDREN who they'd rather have as president? I mean seriously people, egos don't serve us well in international relations. And by the way? Bravo Pres. Carter, we need more people like you to stem the rise of anti-american sentiment.

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

    PLEASE MCBUSH....WE NEED A PRESIDENT WHO CAN BRING PEACE NOT WAR TO THE WORLD....

    RETIREMENT SHOULD BE YOUR OPTION, NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT....YOU WILL BE A LAME DUCK PRESIDENT JUST LIKE BUSH IS.....

    NEW WORLD ORDER....PEACE...NOT WAR....

    April 25, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. Robert in Toronto,ON

    McBush....stop. Don't try scaring the American public into thinking that voting for Obama is voting for Hamas. I believe it's YOUR REPUBLICAN PARTY who has been on watch while America was attacked on 9/11 – the worst attack on American soil in history. So you tell me – who is it that terrorist prefer in the White House?

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

    Great another war! Has anyone checked this guy for dementia? Who cares what group prefers what nominee.

    April 25, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  13. Paul, Albany New York

    McCain is right!

    Obama will sell this country out. He'll surrender to all our enemies. Thank God he'll never win the general election though!

    I'm for Clinton right now but if Hillary doesn't get the DEM nomination, I'll be a McCain supporter for sure, as will a lot of other independents/Democrats. John McCain will be the first Republican to win New York State since Ronald Reagan. He'll win against Obama by a landslide, just watch.

    Hillary or McCain in Novemeber!

    April 25, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. soup1951

    McCain's solution is always more aggression. It's time to try something else.

    Go Obama!

    April 25, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. Eva, VA

    Hey...I like this guy...he sounds so stupid. Keep it up!

    Obama 08

    April 25, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. 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 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. Jake, California

    This is how Hillary has lost to Obama...
    McSame is surely looking for a square defeat....Why does every instinct of him point to war...he is going to dig his own grave.

    You think we are ready to go around making more enemies...does he know that if people like then they'll be willing to agree with you on differences. If you hat Hamas, they'll want to bomb you more, if you get closer to them, they'll see you as good and will not bomb you and so there will be no war...
    get it grandpa!

    April 25, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  18. Faith

    McCain-
    The war-mongering fear-monger!

    Sounds just like Bush, using "FEAR" to get votes

    April 25, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  19. Scott ATL

    Why is no one speaking of how bad the Republican don't want Obama to be the nominee? Why??? Of course, they know Hillary is easier to beat. Otherwise, all this damaging comentary that the Republicans seem to have, why wouldn't they save it for the General election, so they could be sure to beat Obama and keep the White House?

    I'll tell you why. Because if they can damage Obama enough, then Hillary may get the nomination and they know they can beat her. If that wasn't the case, you wouldn't hear a peep from the Republicans while Obama is in the lead... Why would they want to mess that up?

    April 25, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  20. Hillary McCain

    Well, duh! Thanks for pointing out the obvious.

    Of course, people of the Middle East want Barack Obama to win. And so the majority of the rest of the world. But it is not because they fear you, John McCain, it is because you represent more of the same policies of past and present presidents

    The problems in the Middle East have remained unresolved by the present and past Presidents and in some cases caused by their reckless foreign policies.

    These Presidents resemble and have more in common with John McCain than they do Obama, if you get what I am saying.

    April 25, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. rj2001odyssey

    ...and your point, Sen McCain?

    I look at it this way " this are leaders who are looking for other leaders to work with "

    rather than "I will be Hamas's worst nightmare" why do you want to be their worst night mare, is that how you resolve issues? Or how you continue to widen the gap? is McCain's goal to pummel them into submission? Has that worked previously? Or does it create more resentment?

    Hamas is fighting for an independant country, which was taken from them, by force by Israel and through the politics of others such as England and the US. All without their approval. Now, if they were to just sit back and accept this, that wouldn't be very American, would it?

    Ask John McCain what he would do if a group of Mexicans moved into Arizona and claimed a portion as their own, new country. What would he do? Would he fight? If the answer is yes, then I don't understand the problem he has with Hamas, he should explain it better.

    April 25, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. John in Wisconsin

    Actually, to be precise, indications are that Obama is preferred by most people outside the US. Throughout Africa, Asia and Europe (with the exception of Great Britain) the prospect of an Obama led USA is met with excitement and optimism. McCain simply can't resist pandering and fear mongering.

    "Mommy, grandpa's talking funny again."

    April 25, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  23. Why not?????

    They have know about Rev. Wright and his connection to Obama. Why wouldn't they want sympathizer in the White House, makes perfect sense to me..

    April 25, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. Anthony-Minneapolis,MN

    What a sick bastard for saying those things. The fact that the republicans want you in the White House is clear and people WILL JUDGE ACCORDINGLY.

    April 25, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  25. Jan from Boca Raton, Fl

    John McCain hit the nail on the head.

    These enemy leader feel as some americans that Obama
    is Anti American.

    April 25, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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