May 15th, 2008
10:30 AM ET
6 years ago

Pelosi blasts, McCain defends Bush comments

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McCain and Pelos reacted to the president's speech.
McCain and Pelos reacted to the president's speech.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted President Bush's comments Thursday suggesting that Democrats believe "we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals" and suggested Senator John McCain denounce them.

But the presumptive Republican nominee himself defended the remarks, said he intended to make Barack Obama’s willingness to consider dialogue with Iran an issue in the fall campaign, calling on the Illinois senator to “explain [that decision] to the American people.”

“It is a serious error on the part of Senator Obama that shows naiveté and inexperience and lack of judgment - to say that he wants to sit down across the table from an individual who leads a country who says that Israel is a stinking corpse, that is dedicated to the extinction of Israel,” said McCain Thursday. “My question is, what does he want to talk about?”

Pelosi, who is leaving later today on a bipartisan congressional trip to Israel, said there is a "protocol" of not criticizing the President when he is abroad, but then declared, "I think what the president did in that regard is beneath the dignity of the office of president and unworthy of our representation at that observance in Israel."

The California Democrat added that she hopes "any serious person would disassociate themselves from the president's remarks, who aspires to leadership in our country."

But McCain told reporters that Bush’s Thursday remarks made an important point. “It does bring up an issue that we are will be discussing with the American people and that is why does Barack Obama, Senator Obama, want to sit down with a state sponsor of terrorism?” said McCain.

“…I will make this an issue with Senator Obama throughout this campaign, I believe in peace through strength, and peace through strength is the way that we have succeeded in the past.”


Filed under: John McCain • Nancy Pelosi • President Bush
soundoff (330 Responses)
  1. Bridgette

    I think if you didn't know McCain was an idiot you found out this morning after that speech. Are you kidding me. He laid out no plans for how he was going to do this and most of this has been said already by Obama. They are getting ready to use the change slogan

    May 15, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. OBAMA '08

    Talk about eletiam....

    May 15, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. fred

    Pelosi...I am a Dem and believe Bush is correct about Obama...you are going to lose your majority house seat in November...People are going to realize what an idiot Obama really is!!!

    May 15, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. Walt

    In the last seven plus years we have experienced two wars, the threat of one or two more wars, and a constant fear of terrorist acts. Yet, our leaders claim that only they have the experience and expertise to save us.

    If their way worked would there be any discussion regarding how to address terrorism?

    Time to think outside the box.

    Bush please take McCain back to the ranch with you.

    May 15, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. ET

    “It is a serious error on the part of Senator Obama that shows naiveté and inexperience and lack of judgment – to say that he wants to sit down across the table from an individual who leads a country who says that Israel is a stinking corpse, that is dedicated to the extinction of Israel,” said McCain Thursday.

    I agreed with McCain. If anyone had read Thomas Friedman's opinion piece in NY Times, I paraphrase, when our country has little leverage in the Mid East, you could sit down and have all the talks you want, you are not going to change the other side's behavior when their hatred towards one another has existed since their entire history.

    May 15, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  6. Arthur H.

    Way to go Nancy Pelosi!!!!! I loved her standing up to that Hollywood blowhard Weinstein. She is showing strength, courage and we are going to the White House!!!

    Now that John Edwards is on board, this show is rolling. It will turn out that George Bush will be the most effective speaker for McCain with his "Proven" Bush diplomacy. Keep on talking Bush, you are doing great.

    Now we just need to come together and stifle the scariest power of all, the Clinton ego.

    May 15, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  7. Jeanne from Michigan

    A "disendorsement" from Bush/McCain. Obama thanks you both!

    May 15, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. WE NEED THE TRUTH

    And not only did he critized the Dems (we know he ment Obama), but he tried to link him to the most hated person in jewish history, by saying the name of Hilter during his critizism.

    And John McCain is not going to condem Bush's remarks. Oh Boy,,people you better wake up. We don't want this type of attitude back in the white house.

    Usually I say vote Obama....NOW I"M SAYING VOTE DEMOCRATIC!

    May 15, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. mb

    That Preident Bush would use the bully pulpit of a foreign government to make a political point about our election here in the US is beyond reprehensible. This is our country and our decision as to what we do and don't do. He has abused the dignity of the office of president and John McCain is following in his footsteps. no other foreign leader has travel to our country and belittle their countries politiians and leaders in such a blatant way. I am ashamed that he thinks so little of us to do this.

    May 15, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. pam Eugene OR

    Yes, this is an issue to talk about.
    Why would we not want to talk to people how are trying to kill us. Rushing in with bombs and ground forces sure has not gained much! I am sure we can negotiate something but we never even tried.
    Obama 08

    May 15, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  11. Reality Check

    John Mccain: your too old. Your alzheimers is kicking in. You are becoming an old fart who has nothing real to say except carry on with Bush's policies. We know you will take us into war for 100 years and only care about winning peace through strength/war. Thank you for outlining what your presidency will be like. I am glad to have known you but come november you will be nothing but a memory. You might want to start writing your will as you are too old to be anyones president. John Mccain=Bush=Warmonger=Racists=Anti-MLK=old man=loser in november. Democrats and Independents: I for one am guilty of wanting only Obama in the White House. Now I see that we will need Hillary Clinton more then ever. Not only will she tear a hole in Mccain but she will make him look like the loser he is. She needs to be on the ticket so that we can destroy the republicans in november.

    May 15, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. Brian

    this is comparing apples to oranges. I can not see the future, and as far as I can tell, Iran is not Germany, and Ahmadinejad is not Hitler.

    Thw two are similar, but just because they are similar does not mean negotiation should be thrown out the window. By the time the US was ready to enter WWII, negotiations with Hitler had already been tried by other countries. We knew that Hitler would not honor negotiations.

    Has Iran invaded and conquered other countries like Germany did before our involvement in WWII? No, they have not. I am not defending them, I am merely pointing out that up until that point, that they become aggressive and invade other countries, we should attempt negotiation. If negotiation fails, THEN you use force, not before.

    May 15, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. cree

    Talk like this won't win over independants McCain.
    It's laughable to see him try to have it both ways.
    He is placating the republicans now.The extreemist.
    Just this morning he was placating to the independants.
    What a puppet he is for Bush.This just proves it.
    He's just an old worn out puppet.

    May 15, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. Gordon Vaughan

    I would rather have a candidate say they are willing to talk to our adviseries, instead of one that says "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran'. Does McCain realize that our military is already over taxed?

    May 15, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Kevin

    Since Bush has such abysmal record in foreign policy, he has zero credibility as to any foreign policy statement. He also must have forgot his administration's talks with Qaddafi. January 20, 2009 cannot come soon enough.

    May 15, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  16. Independent in Florida

    Our foreign policy and diplomacy is hard to swallow.

    McCain and Hillary have already declared the war on Iran, China and Russia. They accuse Obama of crimes he has not committed. And, President Bush is just adding more fuel to the fire.

    May 15, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. Mike O.

    On another major issue - John Sidney McCain III = George W. Bush

    How many times has Bush misled the American people? How many times does Bush need to be wrong about major issues and policies before the vast majority of Americans turn away from him? I hope that McCain keeps defending GWB. This will lead to an Obama victory (with a governing majority) in November.

    On January 20, 2009, we will finally return to serious and effective leadership in the White House. To have a shot at governing well, those that govern must believe that government has a valuable role to play and that government can be continuously improved (just like a business).

    May 15, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. John from Illinois

    This is EXACTLY why this country needs new leadership. I've been a Republican for 37 years. Not anymore. I'm ashamed of the complete contempt this Adminstration has for its citizens, our troops abroad, and for the future of America. John MCain equals more of the same.
    I'm voting for Barack Obama in the Fall!

    May 15, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  19. Patrick Anthony Drake/Atlanta, GA

    GO NAVY!!!!!!!

    May 15, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. Rachel

    shut your pie hole pelosi you and congress cant get anything done and keep funding a war that you say you want to end. I am done with the democratic party.

    May 15, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  21. barackobama4prez

    What a joke? Bush has cabinet members that agree with Obama. Explain THAT to the American people.

    May 15, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  22. Amy Jacobson

    That's not the only thing that shows Obama's naiveté. His choice of pastor and spiritual mentor whom he later threw under the bus when Wright exposed him as a typical politician says a lot about his judgment.

    Obama, no you WON'T!

    May 15, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  23. LT for Obama

    This just goes to show that all his protests that he is not a 3rd Bush administration confirms that he really is. This is why no matter who he runs against, the republicans will not win with McCain in November.

    May 15, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  24. Al

    Peace through strength is getting to be pretty expensive and is leaving us nothing to show for it. Making every effort through diplomatic means, with the option of flexing our muscle doesn't hurt and is pretty cost effective. $500 billion is peace through strength. A couple million might be diplomacy. You do the math.

    May 15, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  25. Obama Supporter

    Hate McCain!

    Hate Hillary!

    Love Jerimiah Wright!

    Obama '08

    May 15, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
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