May 9th, 2008
12:15 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain defends his 'bearings'

CNN

Watch portions Sens. McCain and Lieberman's remarks Friday.

NEWARK, New Jersey (CNN) – John McCain on Friday defended his charge that the terrorist organization Hamas is rooting for Barack Obama to win the presidency - and said voters were welcome to discuss whether his age should be a factor in the fall campaign.

A Hamas official told an interviewer last month that the group approved of Obama's candidacy. Friday, McCain said the group's opinion is relevant - despite Obama's characterization of that opinion as a “smear.”

“It's very obvious to everyone that Senator Obama shares nothing of the values or goals of Hamas, which is a terrorist organization,” McCain said. “But it's also fact that a spokesperson from Hamas said that he approves of Obama's candidacy. I think that's of interest to the American people.”

McCain's campaign reacted with outrage Thursday to Obama's remark that the senator was “losing his bearings” over the course of the campaign - a phrase they said was a dig at the Arizona senator's age. But McCain himself said Friday the language didn't bother him.

“I ignore it,” McCain said. “I don’t take offense to it.”

Asked if the Obama comment was in fact a reference to his age - and whether that topic was a fair issue in the campaign - McCain said voters are welcome to discuss it.

“Any discussion in my view of any issue that the American people think is legitimate is up to them,” McCain said, adding that the topic of Obama’s former pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright is also fair game.

“Every issue that the American people want to be an issue, if it's part of their discussions, it's fine with me, it's fine with me,” he said. “Just as the Rev. Wright’s remarks. I don’t believe that Sen. Obama shares his views in any way, but he has said it’s a legitimate topic of discussion. If that’s what the American people want to discuss, that’s fine.”

McCain said he will “display the same vigor and the same energy that I have been able to display throughout this campaign.”


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (288 Responses)
  1. Mat

    I have no respect for anyone that buys into the Carl Rove playbook of control with fear and power!

    "Hamas wants Obama" what a load of BS – but still you lap it up and believe everything the GOP feed to you – read some back news on Hamas, try and articulate a theory to why they would ever want to endorse Obama and the ask why is McCain bringing to the spot light such attacks and smear tactics!

    4 more years of sending this country back to the dark ages is it? I hope you like the idea of a draft for the endless wars McCAain will have us fighting!

    May 9, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. fairandstraight

    Let's turn this thing on the Republicans this time. The ultimate gaol is to keep this country safe, right? Well if the terrorists groups are in support of Sen. Obama, then they won't bomb us.

    McCain is trying to use a scare tactic on the American people. How does he know how the Hamas Officials feel? Was he communicating with them?

    May 9, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. Mat

    I have no respect for anyone that buys into the Carl Rove playbook of control with fear and power!

    "Hamas wants Obama" what a load of BS – but still you lap it up and believe everything the GOP feed to you – read some back news on Hamas, try and articulate a theory to why they would ever want to endorse Obama and the ask why is McCain bringing to the spot light such attacks and smear tactics!

    4 more years of sending this country back to the dark ages is it? I hope you like the idea of a draft for the endless wars McCAain will have us fighting!

    May 9, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Allen deLuca - Florida

    Obama supporters love the idea of an Obama presidency because they don't want anyone smarter than they are in DC. To have a man in the White House that has no character or background just like them would make them a lot more comfortable.

    May 9, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. patrick

    Ever wonder why is Lieberman follow Mccain every where. Perhaps he is gay.

    May 9, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  6. Ed

    McCain will answer that 3am phone call and give the order to nuke hamas, unfortuneatly he'll be talking into the TV remote.

    May 9, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. Danielle

    Not sure, not sure,,,, Lieberman is looking for a ticket that is sure..

    May 9, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. REALIST NJ

    You people are an absoulute bunch of ignorant idiots. Do you people know who HAMAS IS AND WHAT THEY DO. THEY ARE A TERRORIST GROUP.

    Wake up wake up wake up . Strength through strength. Jimmy Carter?

    Remember him.????

    Mcain will beat your hyped up rockstar closet rascist.

    May 9, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  9. batavier in CA

    This is stupid.

    OK, the McCain people made it an age issue. Not Barack.

    Losing one's bearings is an age old NAUTICAL term. It means you MISCALCULATED the direction you are going.

    NOTHING to do with AGE!

    May 9, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  10. HobbyWizard

    This repeated obsession by the 'pugs as to what Hamas or Al Queda allegedly wants is beyond bizarre and is most certainly pathetic. If Old John's™ foreign policy is going to be no more than "the terrorists want us to zig so I'll zag" then gawd help us all if the old nutter wins.

    According to Grumpy Old John™, we should forget about national elections and just run our federal candidates by Hamas and appoint the ones they don't like. They'll never figure that out!

    America deserves better than John McAncient as our president. Can I get a "amen"?

    May 9, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. Anna, IL

    The more McCain pulls this crap, the better it is for Obama. This is a losing recipe for him. Just look at Hillary. Dirty politics don't work anymore. Keep talking like Rush Limbaugh. See where that gets you in the end.

    May 9, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  12. barackobama4prez

    NON ISSUE!

    PRESIDENT OBAMA! PLEASE STICK TO THE ISSUES AMERICANS CARE ABOUT. IT WILL KEEP YOU MOVING FORWARD.

    May 9, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  13. Ashley Hastings

    Why should the American people care what Hamas thinks about our election? Hamas members don't get to vote, do they?

    In reality, I suspect that Hamas would prefer McCain, since he would continue Bush's idiotic policies that have steadily eroded American influence in the Middle East.

    May 9, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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