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. jAYjAY

    this from Tough guy McCain.......Can't even handle the North Carolina REPUBLICAN committee

    April 25, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. Fly Boy

    McCain will be everyones BIGGEST Nightmare.

    Look back at History and you will see many examples of Foreign policy revolving around discussion with even our enemies. Ex. The Soviets who wanted to make the US into a crater, but we still kept open channels.

    Obama & Carter are doing just fine wanting to talk. Maybe these talks will result is less blood shed. Silence has always been the most dangerous policy.

    April 25, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. Farren Ballanst

    It has been apparent for some time that McCain has been ERRONEOUSLY canonized as the Saint of Ethics. But he is more of a sleazeball than I even imagined.

    There are too many Americans dumb enough to think that being well-thought-of by our enemies is a bad thing, and McCain is willing to take political advantage of that stupidity.

    Anyone-but-McBush '08

    April 25, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  4. adam gordon

    Apparently the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. For all the talk McCain has done to try and explain to people why he's not Bush's third term, using the same Rovian fear-mongering tactics used by Bush Jr.'s camp during the '04 elections indicates to me that this "maverick" label should be switched to a "win at any cost" label.

    April 25, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  5. James B. New Jersey

    Does anyone think that this may just be because the middle east is tired of White men telling them how they ought to behave. Maybe they see in Obama amn opportunity to have peace in the world. Not some man who can barley mave his arms treatening them.

    April 25, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Independent-woman-voter-for-Obama

    Hamas wants Sen. Obama to win! Good grief, poor McCain is now suffering from dementia!

    McCain along with his pal, Hillary, will continue the fear-mongering until they have all Americans shaking with fear!

    Of course, FEAR is what got Bush re-elected! When will we, Americans, stand up and say ENOUGH to the fear-mongers, hate-mongers and attackers??????

    Do we have the courage to stand up to politics as usual and say "NOT THIS TIME!"????????????????

    April 25, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. Peter

    Forget the ticket Obama/Richardson beside losing Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, texas, we will lose New Mexico too.
    Hillary 08

    April 25, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  8. mike

    Hamas is better etected party than republican BUSH.
    They have moral which republican party don't have.

    April 25, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  9. Carlos from PA

    McCain only hurts his already weak cause with statements like these.

    Barack Obama is already helping to heal many of the divisions that we've all endured during the past two administrations.

    I'm casting my vote for a fresh start, proven results, and a stronger America...economically, socially, certainly politically.

    Barack Obama is that candidate.

    – Carlos from PA

    April 25, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    I had to log on twice because the "whine-o-grams" from Obama dnd Clinton supporters were so funny I fell from my chair and accidently logged myself off!!!

    Go John!!

    Clearly–our despots of the world want a head of state who will be foolish enough to try to negotiate with them–knowing full well actions will likely cease and a truce (no matter how thinly veiled) will be possible.

    With Obama in the White House they will be able to pretend to actually care–and covertly rebuild their operations for 4-8 years without fear.

    April 25, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. arun

    I am sure that the KKK is pro-Mccain. So is that a reason to not vote for Mccain ?

    April 25, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. Jim T

    mcshame can do and say anything he wants, obama will smash him to bits in the general

    April 25, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. Jenna, NY

    Oh people dont fall to these tricks. The cheap mcSame gimmicks.

    April 25, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. Joe Voter

    Wow, I'm surprised at McCain. Hamas, a group that has the goal of weakening the United States, would be greatly ignored if the US became more likable on the world stage. How do they make sure that America remains corrupt in the eyes of other countries? They endorse Obama so that the American people will start to lean toward McCain. The election of McCain gives them a stronger case to make against the United States because the economic and foreign relations policies will remain intact. Is McCain really falling for this or is he just trying to make a quick buck from his donors? Either way, bad form!

    April 25, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. Nancy

    John McCain, you and your campagn and all of your followers are despicable racists. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. Usually you only have to tell 5 year olds that, but obviously you all have never grown up. You will never find a more decent man to run our country.


    April 25, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. Obama Has Substance

    Hamas may have the wrong reason for waiting Obama, but we all know
    that People around the World would want to see Obama as President. This is a very positive for America. Whether you want to admit it or not America's power is deminishing on the World stage. People around the World don't trust us, they thing we are bullies, we put ourselves above everyone else. They see Obama as a fresh face, who is ready take the first step to unite the World. McBush and the Clintons or the same old, same old. They are running for POWER. The people in America especially this new generation of voters need the change. Is time for the Older politicians to step down and give this younger man a chance to make History.

    April 25, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. mike,Iowa

    They probably are looking forward to a president that is willing to talk first and start a war second. McCain acts like anyone who even looks at us wrong were going to go to war with them. We will never move foward in this country by fighting with everyone and he can call it what he wants to but war should not be our first mode of action. How can he promise us lower taxes and gas prices but still keep us in a money and life wasting war?

    April 25, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. ART in TX

    Keylet April 25th, 2008 2:58 pm ET

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

    First off, I didn't vote for Kerry. I just now got involved (like millions of americans) with politics because of Obama and Hillary Clinton. They have given americans a voice in gov't again.

    Secondly, if the repubs had this thing on lock, why are they so scared of the new black guy? why the fear tactics? why so early in the primary season? Hmmm.....they KNOW the politics of fear is the only thing they got, that's why. My point still stands. McSame is a liar. He doesn't want any type of respectable campaign on the issues. I can't wait until he debates Barack Obama. He better bring an extra depends in case he has an accident.

    April 25, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. josh good NYC

    Obama's use of the word fear monger is identical to Bush's use of the word Unpatriotic. It is clear Obama uses alot of the same tactics as Bush did. A Fear monger is now anybody who challenges Obama's ability to govern. That is why Hillary will be our next commander in chief.

    April 25, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Rich

    So if there are KKK members or people in the mafia who think you'd make a good president.....?? This argument is simply inane. Better than Clinton's lies, but still pretty pathetic.

    April 25, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. Karin

    Obama has my vote...and if its taken away from Obama......I'll vote McCain...because at less I know he want be taking money out of my check if I chose not to have insurance.......and that you can count on....

    April 25, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. Sean

    Mccain needs to pander to the jewish lobby if he wants to be president

    April 25, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. Doug R.

    McCain is playing the fear card (again) and this should be an insult to all Americans. We've heard about this for 8 years now. It's time for a change. The United States doesn't need John McCain as its next President. The media has given this Mr. McCain a free and easy ride. Let's ask him about the Keating Five scandal (which he was a part of), his adultery and extra marital affairs, his medical records (which he doesn't want to release) and temper tantrums, why he's receiving $60K annually in disability income, and his wife's drug use/ addictions. And take off that Navy hat old man.

    April 25, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  24. booba

    Nice try McShame... What do you know or better yet what do you remember?

    April 25, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  25. Getting tired of this

    Senator McCain:

    Are you sure you got this right? Or are you confusing Sunnis and Shias again?

    By the way, I hope that in response to this some reporters seek out and interview Klansmen and neo-Nazis and ask them who they want to win between Obama and McCain. Then we can have a really intelligent debate about how extremists of all stripes like one or the other and how irrelevant it is to the problems we face.

    April 25, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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