April 29th, 2008
01:50 PM ET
6 years ago

Blitzer: Democratic candidates careful on Carter

Candidates are focusing their fire on Hamas, not the former President.
Candidates are focusing their fire on Hamas, not the former President.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - When it comes to former President Jimmy Carter and his recent controversial meetings with Hamas leaders in the Middle East, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama seem to be on pretty much the same page. They say they didn’t like the meetings and they, themselves, wouldn’t meet with leaders of a group the U.S. government brands as a terrorist organization. Still, they are clearly uncomfortable in criticizing the former President.

Obama and Clinton do suggest that they would have a dialogue with the leaders of North Korea, Syria, Iran and Venezuela, but only under the right circumstances and with the appropriate advance preparation. They differentiate between meetings with these kinds of state leaders as opposed to leaders of Hamas.

John McCain says Barack Obama should have gone further in condemning Carter’s meetings with Hamas. “He should repudiate President Carter, reprimand him, and specifically tell him he should not have that meeting,” McCain said.

Now, President Bush has also weighed in on the controversy - though, he, too seems uncomfortable in directly criticizing a former president. At a news conference at the White House Tuesday, he hammered away at Hamas, not Carter. “They’re the ones who are undermining peace. They’re the ones whose foreign policy objective is the destruction of Israel,” he said. “That’s the reason I am not talking to them.”

Jimmy Carter has strongly defended his meetings, insisting such a dialogue could help the peace process by moving Hamas toward a more reasonable stance toward a two-state solution – Israel alongside a new Palestinian state. He says he did in fact win such a commitment from Hamas leaders while in Damascus, Syria.

What do you think?


Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Independent

    Wow, Clinton is uncomfortable criticizing a former president? Surprising, since she certainly doesn't hesitate to sling mud at the future president.

    April 29, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. Ticker Shock, Richmond, VA

    Blessed are the peacemakers...........................................

    April 29, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. David!

    Independent, you think McCain is going to win?

    Go Hill!

    April 29, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. David!

    Independent, you think McCain is going to win?

    Go Hill!

    April 29, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. 28 year old White MAN in FLORIDA

    Bad news for clinton

    In the landmark civil fraud case against Bill Clinton in Los Angeles, where the former President is charged with defrauding a Hollywood dot com millionaire to help Hillary Clinton obtain more than $1.2 million from him for her 2000 Senate campaign, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Aurelio Munoz ruled on Friday, April 25 that Hillary Clinton would not be required to testify in a sworn deposition as a material witness in the case until AFTER the November election!

    Why wont CNN be fair… hillary clintons pastor just was charged with child molestion for touching a 7 year old girl her pastor name is Rev. William Procanick …. and why isnt cnn reporting the peter paul vs.. clinton case…. 17 million dollar law suit that they have aginst them…. in cally…..

    April 29, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. mimi de la cruz for OBAMA

    I DON'T CARE WHAT THE CANDIDATES SAY OR DON'T

    SAY ABOUT PRESIDENT CARTER, HE IS TRYING HARDER

    THAN THE PAST 4 ADMINISTRATIONS TO FORGE A FEW

    STEPS TOWARDS PEACE. MUCH RESPECT & LOVE TO HIM.

    April 29, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. donovan

    One way or another we have to bring peace to that region, and
    it has to be soon. As we bring our troops home, the militant arab
    resources will be unleashed to War on Israel.

    We can not maintain the status quo any longer, we need to bring an
    end to all this it it takes the entire UN to Baby Sit the Middle East.

    April 29, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. Kathleen

    I thought Clinton did not want to talk to any of our enemies? Did she change her mind again? My My My Wonder if she'll change her mind to obleterate Iran.

    April 29, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. Grif

    And now I see a Video, of another Misile strike, this one on Somalia.. One Man, no matter how important they see themselves, can do what Carter thought...

    April 29, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. Tejano

    The Democrats are just being Democrats. Grasping defeat from the jaws of victory. I don't know who does more damage. former presidents, such as Bill or Jimmy, two old southern boys or the Rev. Wright. Either way there is no way that the Democrats will win this election.
    But that is a good thing. They would probably screw up everything else. Just look at how ineffective the Democratic controlled Congress has been the last 2 years.

    April 29, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. North Carolina

    What does Clinton need to say? She's not the one Hamas supports!

    April 29, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. Tejano

    CNN should be ashamed of allowing posts like that of rice, brian.

    This idiot does not have a brain. He must support Obama.

    April 29, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. David Goldman for OBAMA

    REFUSAL TO MEET WITH THE ENEMY IS, AN ACCEPTANCE

    AND APPROVAL OF THE CONFLICT AND AN INTENT TO

    CONTINUE IT.

    April 29, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. 58 old white wemen for OBAMA

    SOME WORK TOWARDS PEACE.

    OTHERS APPRECIATE WAR FOR THE SPOILS IT

    BRINGS TO THEM AT THE EXPENSE OF ALL

    THE REST OF US.

    April 29, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Ted

    Sen McCain has no room to talk about denouncing former presidents or our current president. However since he is running as a third term of the current model, he will remain close enough to satisify the small percentage of GOP voters and thereby scuttle his own ship. He really hasn't faced any competition yet, so he continues to blissfuflly slog along completely out of touch with what needs to be done.

    April 29, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. Brian

    Iowa Superdelegate Richard Machacek, said today he is pledging to support Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. This is Obama's 2nd endorsement of the day and 7th in the 7 days since the PA Primary..

    April 29, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. Kimberlie

    Wolf,
    Why don't you ever ask Obama about the books he has written where he praises Wright. Obama said, today that Wright is just his pastor and he had married him and Michelle. Obama tried to down play his relationship with Wright. However, in his books he speaks as thought Wright his a father to him. Ask the tough question and quit tippy toeing around this problem.

    April 29, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. ladymary

    Thank God for Jimmy Carter. If we don't talk to people how can we solve our differences? Guns and lives only? Mr. Carter was the last HONEST and SINCERE President this country had. If he had been President the last 7 years I'm sure we would not be in this stupid war and would have over 3000 of our citizens still alive and happy.

    April 29, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    "John McCain says Barack Obama should have gone further in condemning Carter’s meetings with Hamas. “He should repudiate President Carter, reprimand him, and specifically tell him he should not have that meeting,” McCain said."

    President is a past USA President. Who is Obama, McCain or anyone else to reprimand Jimmy Carter!

    What about McCain and Bush? I think McCain should have gone further in condemning Bush and his AG's stance on torture. He should repudiate President Bush, reprimand him, and specifically tell him that torture does not work." But McCain sits silently. McCain can't even persuade the GOP in NC to pull an offensive ad. Some leader!

    April 29, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. crooksandliars

    So Wolf... WHY HAVEN'T YOU AND CNN QUESTIONED HILLARY CLINTON ABOUT THAT NUT SHE CALLS A PASTOR??

    Why hasn't CNN looked into the ministry of Doug Coe, Hillary Clinton's spiritual advisor, andRev. John Hagee, whose endorsement John McCain sought??????
    These are REAL nuts.

    April 29, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. Frank

    John McSame ought to shut his war-mongering mouth.

    April 29, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  22. Willy

    Wolf Who?

    April 29, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  23. Chavis

    He's an elderly statesmen. Leave him alone.

    April 29, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  24. henrie alabama

    WOLF, WE DON'T CARE WHAT MCSAME SAYS HE WANTS TO BOMBBOMB IRAN

    April 29, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. candi

    Obama would meet if he was President. I think Obama and Carter would like to see this country united and make peace with our enemies.

    April 29, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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