May 15th, 2008
10:30 AM ET
7 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. Rhonda

    ARE YOU LISTENING AMERICA??? Do we really want another 4 years of this MCBUSH "strength"? Where is the success in this war and define "strength":DICTATORSHIP

    May 15, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. David

    What would Americans think if say France or England wanted to meet with Al-qaeda without preconditions? In Obama's foreign policy you're talking about leaders who have outwardly expressed intent to annihilate Israel. These aren't just sovereign world leaders. I think its important first to see what Israelis think of George Bush's comments. GW is no authority on foreign policy himself, but this spat between him and Obama makes them both look like idiots in my view.

    May 15, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. shane

    Mccain asks why does Barack Obama want to sit down with a "state sponsor of terrorism". I guess it never occured to his aging mind that IRAN is part of the U.N. They have a seat at the U.N. The whole WORLD is sitting down with them! WHy do we feel like sitting down with America is some sort of priviledge? And what has NOT talking to them achieved? Lets just isolate them and let them build a nuclear bomb like North Korea. Great plan. Kick the neo-cons out!

    May 15, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. Madelyn

    McCain is so obviously out of touch with the majority of Americans who are fed up with the politics of fear. Herein lies the problem with McCain who seems intent to hang on to the "old" politics of his "old" age. Americans live in a different world than the archaic one he desperately clings to, and we cannot continue to do the same thing, lest we get the same result. Besides, what is the problem with "talking" to people? Isn't that how "diplomacy" works? McCain is the only war veteran I ever heard of who loves war so much!

    May 15, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. Little Miss Sunshine

    Oh children, children, children ... grow up already.

    May 15, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. VALENTINE NGEERA ROSWELL GA

    MACCAIN IS A VERY TIRED 71 YEAR OLD MAN WHO IS LIVING IN THE 15TH CENTURY WHEN WE ARE LIVING IN THE 21ST CENTURY,IE THE DOT.COM GENERATION TO KEEP IT REAL.HE NEEDS TO BE HOME LOOKING FOR CATTLE AND NOT WANTING TO RUN THIS COUNTRY AT HIS AGE.TOOOOOOOOOLD FOR WHITEHOUSE

    May 15, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. noMcBush, cambridge, MA

    What did McCain mean as "succeeded in the past"? Vienam? Korea? Iraq? The more McCain aligns with Bush, the better for Dems in the fall, and the better for a new America.

    May 15, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. Nia - AZ by way of MN

    aahhh McNot the puppet never fails. On another note...I think a Pelosi would be good for VP on the Obama ticket. She might be a little to liberal for the conservative Dems. But atleast the feminist, and stounch Hillary backers won't have thier panties all in a bunch when Hillary doesn't get it the nod for VP. Edwards would be decent, he would be able to help with those blue collar white voters everyone seems to be smitten over. But the draw back is he is a man...so the panties will be bunched...feminsit will march in the streets burning bras...kidding...

    May 15, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. Duckula

    Hey McCrypt, all brown people != terrorists. Sticking your fingers in your ears and going "na-ne-na-n-na na" hasn't solved any problems for the last 8 years. People who disagree with you or dislike your friends aren't automatically terrorists. But you just keep proving to us that you're a RepubliCANT.

    May 15, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. Judy

    McCain you are so weak that you are scared to even talk on the phone with them. Why are you scared? Remember people want to know why we are at war and how we can avoid them. If you think about how we got into the Iraq war you would not want another war, for fear will not have enough serrvice members to fight for us. The old and middle age servicemen are not in shape to fight another long unnecessary war like Iraq, so yes we do need to build bridges that everyone can walk across without looking over their shoulders in fear.

    May 15, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. Defeat Obama

    Nancy is a poor excuse for a leader, what about her trip to the Middle East last year, trying to undermine the administration's Foreign Policy? Bush should single him out, Obama is wrong on this issue, just as many others, we have stated earlier at http://defeatobama.org?refer=cnn0515_01 that his view of taking options off the table and talking as the President without precondition is flawed. McCain was right to ask this question and remember HRC herself called Obama "naive" on this issue.

    May 15, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. Farren Ballanst

    Tired old man=Tired old ideas.

    Time to step into the 21st century.

    OBAMA '08

    May 15, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. JoeMamma

    Maybe "Both" political parties should stop trying to prove to Israel that "they" are the one more likely to fight Israel's next war- and put America's priorities first.

    May 15, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. SLKWLY

    Please bring this argument on, Sen, McCain....As a veteran i honor your service, but that does not give you an unchallengeable position. Other, more highly decorated military men have been wrong about war before and history has shown the terrible prices paid for their incorrect decisions.

    This is an argument we welcome, and due to your 'recent' change of positions on a lot of things (aka flip-flops), I look forward to the American people seeing just how far you will go to pander to people who really don't like you as their nominee anyway.

    May 15, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. Silvain

    Of course we'll have to be out of Iraq by 2013; where else are we going to get soldiers from to invade and wage war against Iran?

    I mean, if McCain is president, it doesn't look like we're going to actually negotiate with them.

    May 15, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. Maksym

    McCain defines dilusional.

    I mean, who in their right mind would say, "peace through strength"?

    Politics of fear in its ugliest form.

    May 15, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. Mannewell Darby

    "...I believe in peace through strength, and peace through strength is the way that we have succeeded in the past.” -Just like a schoolhouse bully. Is this the sort of ethical leadeship John McCain proposes? America will not be the leader of the future by going around beating up or threatening to beat up all who do not bend to our will. If this is to be or policy, eventually we will suffer the fall of every schoolhouse bully. I'm all for strength. I'm for wisdom more.

    May 15, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. Frequent Flyer NY

    If the president of Iran could come and talk nonsense at COlumbia University how come President Obama cannot talk to him and possible talk sense into him??? How is that bad...I hope this is one of the main points they bring up in the general election and I hope Obama strategically makes this guy McShame look like the olld fool that he is

    May 15, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  19. Randy

    John McCain. We can't do this for another four years. It's easy for McCain to see what it'll look like in four years if he were President. It's just a continuation of today, just higher number of war deaths, higher gas prices, more poverty.

    We'll all probably need to drink more beer just to cope, which of course will help his wife's finances.

    May 15, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. Jonathan Gaines

    JOHN " BUSH OLDMAN" McSAME,

    IT IS YOU THAT WILL HAVE TO EXPLAIN TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THE B.S. COMING OUT OF YOUR MOUTH.

    JOHN THE FOOL, FOLLOWING BUSH THE BIGGER FOOL.

    May 15, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  21. Beny

    I don't even know how Bush he calls him self a true christian while the bible said love your enemy.

    May 15, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. Eleanor

    Vote DEMOCRATIC this fall
    Get these war mongers out!!!!!
    Give Nancy the votes to bring these senseless war policies to an
    END once and for all!!!!!
    Dems in november!!!

    May 15, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. montag

    Perhaps someone should remind John McSame that governments don't negotiate with their friends – they negotiate with their enemies. It's called diplomacy and it's what you use to prevent wars and implement peace treaties and accords.

    But, of course, diplomacy and statesmanship is something Republicans wouldn't know anything about.

    May 15, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. Jose'

    Impeach Obama '08!!

    May 15, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. Marilyn, Kansas

    LOL! John McCain keeps putting his foot deeper and deeper into his mouth. This should get very interesting. And poor Georgie Porgie is all the way over in Israel and has no idea the can of worms he has opened up–once again LOL!!! Great job West Virginia!

    May 15, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
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