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. Florida voter

    For the first time, i actually agree with mccain. VOTE HILLARY!

    April 25, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Farren Ballanst

    ...and another thing.

    "Reverend" Hagee is filled with every bit as much of destructive hatred as Hamas, and McCain courted his endorsement.

    April 25, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Keith

    Ya, Hamas and the rest of the civilized world prefer someone other than McCain. Its only about 40% of the US that wants to keep fighting a futile "war". I think if I hear we have to fight them over there so they dont come over here I will puke. I used to like McCain until he started pandering to the Christian right. McCain the maverick, thats a joke!

    April 25, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Seth (FL)

    What a joke. Rove tactics...McCain's first instinct is to fight. That kind of attitude got us into the global mess we're in now. We need someone who will fight if diplomacy doesn't work.

    April 25, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. Hal

    Well it is obvious that Bin Laden and Iran want McInsane to be President because he will lead this country into a cycle of never ending war and nationalism that will lead to our international and economic isolation.

    April 25, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Robin Country Club Hills

    People are not stupid. The whole world sees an opportunity for America to return to a position of leadership.

    Go Obama

    April 25, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. bill pike

    God forbid we would want peace in the world, lets invade chicago next to show everyone how powerful we are. maybe even the middle east would come together and help us solve the bush/mccain/clinton nightmare called iraq–remember, these "leaders" with EXPERIENCE who did not read the intelligence report–where we have lost thousands of lives and ruined our economy, where we have created new life in the enemy's eyes. Yes, lets show everyone who powerful and dumb mcbush/clinton is.

    April 25, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  8. Ken

    No, you would not be Hamas' worst nightmare, Mr. McBush. Just like the [R] idiots that have gone before you, you talk too much about things you have little understanding of, and then of course you cannot follow-up on all your talking. What you WOULD be is America's worst nightmare - well 2nd worst, given that the current idiot-in-charge is the worst.

    If Hamas truly wants a Dem. in the WH, the only thing that shows is: (1) they are smarter than ~51% of the American public that voted in the last election; and (2) they are smarter than the few red-ended [R] mission-accomplished baboons who posted their nonsense on this blog.

    April 25, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  9. less media more issues

    McCain... is saying 'stupid stuff'? It's stupid to vote for a Republican because you're angry about how the Democatic race turns out. Just cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    April 25, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. RealityKing

    An American retreat from the face of tryanny would be a victory for oppression everywhere. Hamas, Al Qeade and terrorists all over the world will stop and rejoice in the streets, and then double their murderous efforts..

    April 25, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. SPQR753

    I am N O T an Obama supporter, but I find McCain comments stupid, to say the least.

    At the same time they demonstrate that McCain's solemn promise NOT to utilize dirty politics was just an empty promise.

    What Hamas and Chavez may or may not wish to be the next U.S. President is utterly irrelevant and does not prove anything, UNLESS McCain can prove with DOCUMENTED EVIDENCE of some secret plot, deal or whatever.....

    I really think McCain' is aging faster that a tomato left out of the refrigerator....!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 25, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. Jude

    Did I hear "Fearmongering" and "Warmongering"? If Hamas wants Obama its because McCain's policy is same as Bush policy. Which is to scare everyone around the world instead and working with our Allies and Trying to give Rogue nations incentives to stop the violence.

    April 25, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. fred

    You got that right McCain.....Obama is one of them!!!

    April 25, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. Carl Sloan

    Hamas has never been a threat to America–that's the huge misconception here being used to somehow compare them to Al Qaeda, who attacks all over the world for no reason. All of Hamas' efforts are focused only on the occupied territories where several human rights violations have been committed against them by Israel (illegal settlements, bulldozing of homes, locking Gaza into a cage, setting up checkpoints in Palestinian land, etc.).

    The fact is that Hamas was DEMOCRATICALLY elected by the people, yet somewhat hypocritically we say "we want democracy, but WE want to choose your leaders for you." I get the sense that Hamas does want to put an end to the Mideast conflict, and more of McSame simply excluding them from peace talks over their OWN land that they control will never achieve that. I mean really, how do you negotiate peace by only talking to ONE side? This is absolutely ludicrous.

    April 25, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. anthony

    I think Hamas is playing reverse psychology. By saying they want Obama they know Americans will go for the opposite choice.

    April 25, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. trellskig

    So what, is it bad for someone to want a particular person as president? Of course, Hamas wants Obama because he is well respected around the world and will put the pieces back together for this country when he is president.

    McCane is wrong because he can't relate and never will.

    April 25, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. CB in Florida

    Come on Big John, do you think everybody is that stupid? Hamas, Al Qaeda and any other haters of America are hoping you all of all people are in the Bush driver's seat in November. McCain will keep money going into the Iraq abyss and Hillary will nuke the Iranians causing a global environmental crisis. Hamas knows how to "Rope a Dope" both McCain and Hillary! By unanimous decision: Obama is the people's choice! OBAMA “08”

    April 25, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  18. joel

    Supported by Hamas or George W. Bush? Unless you can crunch the exact numbers on who has killed more innocent people, we would have to call it a toss up.

    April 25, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. N

    Are we fighting the civil war all over again? It seems that way. Why can't everyone just vote who they want to vote for and stop all this feuding. I ,for one, am getting really tired of the bickering back and forth. Go vote for who you want to because it's your priviledge. I'll bet some of the people who has sent these comments don't even go vote. Some folks just like to rant and rave, just because they can. Let's just all be Americans.

    April 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. Ilona from Alberta

    Mind you -swiftboat and the boogeyman worked in 2004.

    April 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. Bitter and voting for Obama

    Bush got into the second time by instilling fear in the American people. And in so doing he ended up being the worse president ever, McCain, you are such a hypocrite. You go around bashing Bush and trying to scare people with your lies.........President Bush was bad but you John McCain would be America's worst nightmare. Listen John McCain,,, try seek the Lord while he's still near..........Your time is up, your number has been pulled and read my lips, "John McCain, you will never be president of the United States." You are nothing but a flip flopper, you change your tone daily, we can't take anything you say for granted.............You chaeated on your first wife, and than turned around and married your sweetheart. Talk about morals, you have none. Bush was bad, but you can't walk in his old shoes. Wait till the Dems get a hold of you, your prescious Cindy will go back to the nut house. Remember, how Bush did you in 2000, well gues what what we have cooking for you will be worse. Now, you should be very afraid........we are coming to get you and we would get you. Booooooooooo

    April 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. Uncle Sam

    I wonder if it was revealed that Sen. Obama was actually a member of Hamas, would it be excused by his supporters?

    April 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. Jake

    This is the true path of the evolution of prophecies of the Ancients – perfect indicators.
    Obama is the anti-Christ.

    April 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. Sarah

    Why republicans are working very hard against Obama now...
    They are dying to have Hillary as the democratic nominee and Obama is their worst nightmare...

    Sorry McSame. Continue dreaming and continue to send thousands of Republicans to vote for Hillary as in Ohio, Texas and PA. Still she has no way of catching up. Be prepared Obama is coming

    April 25, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. david goldman for OBAMA














    April 25, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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