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. A.J. in Fla

    To German Hernandez

    Amigo, you are right on target. Republicans are scare of what they see comming, A DEMOCRAT IN THE WHITE HOUSE....!!!!!

    Please help us defet the Democrats in November

    May 16, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. ok

    First you told Hiffington Post you never voted for G. Bush. You later flip-flopped or can I say Flop-Flipped. There were witnesses that confirmed you told Huffington. Now the video proves what you said to Jamie rubin. Now you are calling Rubin a "LIAR." Senator McCain, you are the LIAR, should I say Liar-liar. This election would be very interesting. Republicans and McCain want to have it both ways. No you can't. Now you are attacking Obama's wife and family. Don't you think Cindy McCain has lots of baggage that we would all be interested to expose to the world. Is that what you want? Bring it on. Liar-liar, flip-flopper, flop-flipper.

    May 16, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  3. Obama

    Do you libs do anything but whine?

    May 16, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. Ray

    That video is altered by cgi. Come on people McCain isn't a warmonger... LOL

    May 16, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  5. Keek in Cali

    That Huckabee comment sounds kinda "bitter" to me. Americans beware...the Republicans are bigotted, greedy, lying, warmongers that say and do ANYTHING to get what they want. I think this is where Hillary gets all of her dirty campaigning tips from...God Bless us All!!


    May 16, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  6. Chris

    John McCain? Lol!

    What is that his slogan? Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Iran!
    John can't just wait to Bomb Iran. Maybe he should convince Bush to do it now. So he can defend us very well. Yes, also Bomb Syria, North Korea and Rusia. They all hate America. Obliterate Lebanon and Palestine. They hate Isreal. We so many troops; maybe some of them need to die!

    McCain '08, WAR FOR EVER!

    May 16, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  7. Nat

    Bomb, bomb, bomb...bomb, bomb Iran. That is the real McCain.

    May 16, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  8. Jim

    Barack Obama often boasts he is “the only candidate who isn’t taking a dime from Washington lobbyists,” yet his fundraising team includes 38 members of law firms that were paid $138 million last year to lobby the federal government, records show.

    Those lawyers, including 10 former federal lobbyists, have pledged to raise at least $3.5 million for the Illinois senator’s presidential race. Employees of their firms have given Obama’s campaign $2.26 million, a USA TODAY analysis of campaign-finance data shows.

    Thirty-one of the 38 are law firm partners, who typically receive a share of their firms’ lobbying fees. At least six of them have some managerial authority over lobbyists.

    “It makes no difference whether the person is a registered lobbyist or the partner of a registered lobbyist, if the person is raising money to get access or curry favor,” said Michael Malbin, director of the Campaign Finance Institute, a non-partisan think tank.

    May 16, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  9. Tejano

    The Bomber is Hillary not McCain. She woud bomb Iran if it strikes Israel. Obama would bomb Pakistan one of our allies on the war on terror. He would dine and wine with Hamas and I's a nut job.

    Stop it with the lies, Democrats. You can't win on principles or programs, all you do is talk, talk, talk. That is why we have a mess in our government, not because of Bush or his policies.

    Where has theDemocratic controlled country been for the last 4 years.

    2 of them have been out campaigning for President. Hillary and Obama.

    May 16, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  10. All the More

    This is why I love Clinton and Obama. Democrats come together and get rid of this idea of endless war and warmongering.

    Democrats '08 and Beyond

    May 16, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  11. Linda Li

    It's hard to lie from video evidence, isn't it?

    May 16, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. Charlie

    Rob: you said:
    "Nixon spoke to the Communist Chinese.
    Bush 43 spoke to North Korea
    Israel made peace with Egypt."
    Those are true statements. However, what good came of it? China is launching missles at satellites, North Korea just detonated a nuclear bomb and Egypt is still hostile toward Isreal. The next time a criminal breaks into your house or threatens you, would you try to have a dialogue with them to 'engage them', or would you call the police and have them arrested!?

    When you say McCain advocates that we shouldn't talk to "bad people", what do you think that means. I'm all for telling them to "Put their weapons down or face the consquences", but looking for some sort of dialog with terrorists is pointless. Remember Neville Chamberlain? He had lots of 'dialoge' with Hitler (even got a peace treaty), and then we had WWII.

    May 16, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. That's Reality

    It seems the major reason the liberal left doesn't like McCain is because he's not like them. He's not afraid to fight the war on terror, regardless of the polls, and he's not willing to appease terrorist supporting nations. Age = experience, but most liberals are liberal because they haven't matured yet. The older ones just haven't come to terms with the truth yet; You can't negotiate with evil people. Didn't Carter just find that out with Hamas? The Bush administration tried to warn him but he thought he could "reason" with them. Ha!

    May 16, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  14. Frank D

    They deployed George Bush on a long-range swiftboating from middle east.

    May 16, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  15. Darth Vadik, CA

    Are you going to belive me or your own lying eyes and ears?

    May 16, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  16. Richard Bell - Winston-Salem, NC.

    Exactly. Obama in SD lied about McCain. Obama has been doing that against Clinton throughout the campaign, lying about Hillary and now McCain to cause voter confusion so that they would doubt McCain or Hillary. Obama is the one tricking voters. The video shows that McCain had a thorough and consistent stance on Hamas and Palestine while Obama has not had a consistant stance and his past actions contradict what he "says" he'll do.

    May 16, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  17. Ralph

    Bye Bye Bye
    Bye Bye McCain

    Unlike the original version, this one IS funny!

    May 16, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  18. Truth

    It seems the republicans are facing big trouble.
    Sorry for you McSame. You lost from day 1. Your only option is to hide the video

    May 16, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  19. tblno

    McCain, what make you and r kelly think we can SEE YOU ON TAPE!!!!!!!! MORE LIES!!!

    May 16, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  20. T

    Karl Rove has some nerve with his attacks.
    With the size of his head, you would think they could of done better in Iraq. Apparently, size doesn't matter when it comes head skulls.

    May 16, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  21. Tracy

    Well, what do you call it when a junior senator running for the highest office in the land proposes to sit down and talk to a person like Iran's leader, who has called for the total destruction of Israel and has denied that the Nazi extermination campaign ever existed? Lord help us if this guy is elected

    May 16, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  22. Rainey Day

    **yawn** the GOP bores me.

    May 16, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  23. Vin

    Please leave intelligent comments. Most of the stuff I see here sounds childish and really doesn't add to the debate. If you support Clinton, McCain or Obama I think you would honor your candidate more by showing others the caliber of people who support them. Vitriol and railing against someone doesn't say anything more than you disliking that person and not a lot about the reasons you support your candidate.

    May 16, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  24. JDG

    How could anyone in their right mind support a party who's only agenda is to raise taxes, point in the direction of the welfare office and attempt to TALK our enemies to death. How quick we forget 9/11, as if it was another day in paradise. Democrats & Liberals...........we've been at war since 1979, under Jimmy Carter's reign, with terrorist and you actually believe talking is going to do any good. Get a life and attempt a little reading of history and past events. Oh, and our economy, get real, it has cycles just like our weather conditions and believe me the Republicans have nothing to do with Mother Nature. This country was founded on backbone and intestinal fortitude and not by whinning liberals who think politically correct cheap debate is going to solve our problems. This country continues to need strong leadership who won't buckle under by frivilous criticism from second and third generation welfare recipients and their supporters.

    May 16, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  25. John

    If Obama supporters are going to engage in tit for tat ping pong arguments and insults,believe me it will get nowhere.republicans are better at that! So they think! It is a different election,with a lot at stakes.Do not play their game.Establish your solid stratergy in your counters lined with facts rather than insults.When it comes to general election,Hillary will win. Yes she Will.

    May 16, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
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