May 16th, 2008
05:40 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain campaign to reporters: 'Jamie Rubin lied'

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(CNN) - John McCain’s campaign sent reporters footage of a 2006 interview between former Clinton State Department official Jamie Rubin and John McCain Friday which they said proved the presumptive Republican nominee had been quoted out of context in an op-ed claiming he advocated dialogue with the Islamic militant group Hamas.

Rubin, a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, had made the claim in a piece published in Friday’s Washington Post. A clip of the exchange, which came during an interview Rubin conducted for Sky News, was published on the Huffington Post Web site.

At the time, said Rubin, McCain told him the United States would not be able to avoid a dialogue with Hamas, which had recently won a majority in Palestinian elections. "They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another,” said the senator.

“And I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice,” added McCain. “…But it's a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that."

In a follow up question that was not included in Rubin’s piece or in the footage circulated online, McCain further clarifies his position when asked whether “the United States be dealing with that new reality through normal diplomatic contacts to get the job done for the United States?”

McCain responded: “I think the United States should take a step back, see what they do when they form their government, see what their policies are and see the ways we can engage with. If there aren’t any, there may be a hiatus. But I think part of the relationship will be dictated by how Hamas acts, not how the United States acts.”

The McCain campaign sent a link to that footage to reporters Friday with the e-mail subject line: “Jamie Rubin lied.”

In a statement released earlier Friday, the campaign said the senator’s position had not shifted. “There should be no confusion, John McCain has always believed that serious engagement would require mandatory conditions and Hamas must change itself fundamentally – renounce violence, abandon its goal of eradicating Israel and accept a two state solution,” said campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Vedio tape does not lie!

    May 16, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  2. Rob

    Nixon spoke to the Communist Chinese.
    Bush 43 spoke to North Korea
    Israel made peace with Egypt.
    John McCain thinks that we should never talk to bad people? I know he doesn't really believe it.

    May 16, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  3. Ardnuas

    McCain is NOTHING like he appears... He will have us in a WAR with Iran within days of him taking office.... He is FULL of hate and anger .... voters BEWARE!!!!!!!!
    Obama/Hagel ( I want Chuck Hagel to be VP)

    May 16, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  4. Nunya

    Taken out of context how? The addtional question/answer changes nothing...

    May 16, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. Enlightened Voter

    John, you can't even keep up with your own lies, how can we trust you to run our country.??Hell you may push the button by accident, we can't have that. Seriously folks, aren't we tired of the republicans, it's enough already. There desperate, they are scrambling and they should. They are ghetto thugs.

    May 16, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  6. mitchell from arkansaw

    we heard what you said,mccain.don't try to explain your way out of it.warmonger!!

    May 16, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  7. Ryan

    He was still indicating he'd be open to talking with them. What changed?

    No part of that interview does John McCain say he would NOT do it. This further reiterates it.

    May 16, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. Heidi in Houston

    If name calling like "liar" and "naive" is the worst McCain has to dish out, then the general election should be a cake walk for the democrats.

    Rubin's peice speaks for itself. McCain clearly states that Hamas' status in the Middle East has changed and it has. Thanks to the GOP supporting Palestinian elections, AGAINST the advice from Israel, which gave Hamas leaders, officially elected status.

    We have talked to our enemies throughout history. Bush with N. Korea and Qadaffi, Reagan with Russia, Nixon with China. Now McCain is calling Obama "naive" and "reckless".

    Perhaps starting a war in Iraq bases on shoddy intelligence and getting rid of a government that has kept Iran in check all these years was a little reckless. I'm just sayin'....

    May 16, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. voice

    Did not McCain calim himself a honest politician? Honest to the extent that he can spin his own recorded words?

    May 16, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  10. Blake, San Diego

    Politicians respond to things like robots. John McCain is wrong and the people who want to vote him in are wrong too. Some people just refuse to open their eyes and expand their mind.

    May 16, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. Diziz31

    In this political environment how do you know the truth from the lie?

    May 16, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  12. HillarySkank on myspace

    John McCain is another 4 years of a failed foreign policy that murders our military men and women.
    Huckabee is a false man of God. He has proven beyond all doubt that he is putting the Republican party first, and God somewhere else. The debate is whether he puts God above America or the other way around, but this Christian no longer considers that so called Christian a man of God.

    Shame on you Huckabee, you are making your party (the Republicans) proud and that is not something a Christian would be proud of.

    May 16, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  13. RB

    Oops. I hate video proof!

    May 16, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. German Hernandez

    Republicans are scare they see it coming......

    May 16, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  15. Dee

    Bomb Bomb Bomb
    Bomb Bomb Iran

    Yeah, McCain and his cowboy party will have us in another war in no time, a month after he takes office.

    May 16, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  16. Lilly

    Obama '08

    May 16, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  17. Brendose, Oceanside CA

    The strings pulling McCain are starting to show............the nose is starting to grow.......


    May 16, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  18. skyjuice

    McPAIN is a real piece of work.

    OBAMA 08'/12'

    May 16, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  19. Shiloh Everett

    McCain needs to denounce Huckelbee for hid gunman comments.

    May 16, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  20. Deb, IN

    I Love how Obama is ready to DEBATE either George Bush or John McCain anywhere, anythime on foreign policy……LOL (just so long as he doesn't have to DEBATE Hillary Clinton on the same issues)

    What a SISSY!!!!!!!!!

    May 16, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  21. Heidi in Houston

    Yea, McCain. Let's not have talks with Iran. Let's bomb them like you suggested. That's a far better idea.

    McCain, I really used to like you. Now I've found out more. Things like we can't stand next to you and swing a dead cat without hitting one of your lobbyist buddies. You want to bomb a sovereign nation prior to attempting diplomacy.

    You show us more and more how you want to embrace Bush's failed foreign and domestic policies on a daily basis. Since the nomination, you've gone back on the moderate stance you used to display in the Senate and so you can embrace Bush to pander to the base. Well guess what, just two days ago, the base gave you an open invitation to turn your back on Bush and his failed policies, by saying that the Bush administration gave made the GOP brand like a bad brand of dog food that should be removed from the shelves. You had the chance then to show you're different, but you haven't. I'm very disappointed.

    May 16, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |


    ........ SO DID THE VIDEO !!!!!!!!!


    May 16, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  23. Tom, Oregon

    McCain flip, flop, flip, flop nobody knows when he'll stops!

    May 16, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  24. Jane

    What Bush, McCain, Karl Rove and other Republican operatives will soon find out is that this campaign is a whole different ballgame than the one they fought 4 years ago. This time, the Democratic candidate may be Barack Obama, over whom a love-struck news media is very protective. They're trying hard to hand him the Democratic party's nomination, and they'll surely try to hand him the general election. It's hard to win an election when the news shows are fighting for the other side.
    So sad too, because in all this, what we may be losing is the woman who would probably be the best president in our history.

    May 16, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  25. voice

    Karl Rove is a joke. Just look at California Supereme court's decision on gay marriage. You know how backward his brain is and how lost he is these days.

    May 16, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
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