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. No McCain

    Hey McCain, you are not in a position to call anyone a lier... ur whole politic is based on lies... Iraq war u are supporting started based on lies. Ur tax policy is based on lies ... the list goes on and on and on...

    May 16, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  2. Donna

    It's amazing and pretty sad that when he whines about being taken out of context but doesn't seem to think that Michelle, Hillary, Barack, etc. can be taken out of context...had someone else been VIDEOTAPED saying something, there is no way that McBush and the GOP would crucify them without the benefit of the doubt...

    Maybe they just don't want to admit that he DOESN'T REMEMBER saying know sometimes the mind is the first thing to go when you get in your GOLDEN YEARS!!!

    May 16, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  3. Obama Supporter


    May 16, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  4. Not a Dem no more

    Thank you Democrats for giving us a clear choice in November. Had Clinton won the nomination it would have been a much tougher choice, but since you chose to give us Barak H. Obama. The choice is clear,, McCain by a wide margin.

    Call me Racist, call me warmonger, call me whatever, but please call me American Patriot and proud supporter of our soldiers in
    Iraq and Afghanistan.

    My new Party will not have our brave young men and women die in vain. No Surrender to the Islamic Jihadist.

    No Bama in my whitehouse.

    May 16, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  5. Darryl

    Well Lie John Lie and Call on Hillary for support!!!!!!!

    May 16, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  6. Joe

    this is ridicules! john mccain is the best candidite in the race! this stupid alligation is the product of the libral media trying to make him a lier! aghhhh!!!

    i cant wait for mccain to debate barak obama! he will domanate him and win another four years for the reoublcians!

    MCCAIN 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 16, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  7. joseph quaye


    May 16, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  8. GOP Rules


    Have you ever wondered why the symbol of the Democrats is a DONKEY- Because you all are that!

    MCCAIN GOT THIS… I have never seen so many dumb people. LOL


    WE are not even worrying about a backfire. We already know Democrats are dumb and lazy.

    Therefore, I hope Obama win so we can keep the Whitehouse because you all are too DUMB to go vote….lol

    MCCAIN 08

    we will rule for another 4years and keep you ALL in your PLACE…lol
    SORRY DONKEYS ( JACK- – – ) :o)


    May 16, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  9. jon

    what if mc mistakingly bomb israel due to mem loss
    i respect old people but i think at his age he should retire and make a job available for someone who needs it and this goes for all the old folkes in the senate and the house mayors and govs council mem etc
    vote them out

    May 16, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  10. RB from NH

    Obama says he will talk with our enemies, NOT negotiate. This is wisdom. We need wisdom more than experience.

    Clintons experience;
    Impeachment, adultery, selling secrets to China, NAFTA.

    McCain experience;
    Keating 5, lies about pork barrel spending, where's the nukes? No more war!

    May 16, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  11. Nia - AZ by way of MN

    Diplomacy before bombs....

    May 16, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  12. georgia

    It's hard to imitate that irritating voice ,Mac

    May 16, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  13. Independent

    That was not a lie Mr. Mccain. It is your normal stance on everything -FLIP-FLOP,FLIP,FLOP.

    May 16, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  14. Sharon Minnesota

    Another example of the typical knee jerk Obama spin machine trying to get away with half truths. Not going to work with the GOP attack dogs. The muzzle doesn't fit this dog like it did on Sen. Clinton.

    Education prevents people from being presumptuous. I thought Obama supporters were supposed to have college degrees??

    May 16, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  15. HH

    You are scum McCain. I cant wait untill election night 2008 when you and the country club republicans lose 50 seats.

    I have some straight talk for you, its the republicans who expanded and over spent our goverment not the democrats.

    May 16, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  16. Good Grief

    This nation has always engaged in diplomacy, thankfully. Only recently is this being espoused as bad policy. We must negotiate from strength, pure and simple. Carrot and stick approach is effective usually, and military aggression is what a nation employs only if and after diplomacy fails. Dialogue and appeasement are not synonamous. Braggadocio, arrogance, and a refusal to hear any voice other than one's one litter the pathway to global disaster. We cannot afford another Presidency that fails to realize this basic principle.

    May 16, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  17. Independent

    The Sen. Mccain was no lie. You are showing your usual stance = FLIP,FLOP,FLIP,FLOP. Before you call someone a liar, you better make sure of your facts. As far as your buddies, Huckabee and Rove goes, tell them to crawl back under the rock they have come out from! No McCain-NOREPUBLICAN.NEVER AGAIN WILL WE BE FOOLED!

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

    It's too bad the Rev Wright clips have eclipsed the Rezko dealings at least for now. I'd like to know more about that real estate deal, but guess we'll have to wait until after the convention, when McCain's forces will bring out what they've learned from months of investigation. It makes me really expect there is more to it, because they've not been talking about it, as if they are saving the Rezko ammunition for the general election campaign.

    Oh well, Democrats have self destructed before, what's four more years of Repubs? What's a few more tax breaks for wealthy corporations? Another decade or so of Iraq & its Republican contractors milking us of tax dollars we don't really have to spend on it? I am resigned to it happening, if McCain doesn't make huge mistakes.

    May 16, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  19. Mauri

    Regardless of how people might view John McCain, or of all the nasty remarks made about him - one thing is certain: John McCain did NOT mean in that interview that he was going to negotiate with Hamas. Rather he said we would have to DEAL with them. And of course, that's what Jimmy Carter did when he met with them to try to create an understanding with them, which of course, failed. So for now, Hamas has been "dealt" with, their philosophy is understood, and it's time to drop it. Looks like a perfect example of Obama learning as he goes along. Criticize John McCain if you will - but as an old-timer - and yes, a Democrat, I say to anyone who might question his dedication toward protecting this country and his patriotism, had better save your breath and your time.

    May 16, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  20. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Hillary is nice now.

    Rove is on Obama's back.

    Are they interchangeable?

    Wasn't Rove in Deliverance crawling up the hill squeeling? Or ........

    May 16, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  21. JD in Chico, CA

    I'm sure you won't post this, it's not Liberal...

    McCain did NOT say in that piece that we would deal with Hamas. He DID say that we would deal with the situation, look at what kind of government they would form. Bashing McCain for the sake of bashing is no different that stating the fact that Obama's middle name is Hussein... It is for effect only.

    May 16, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. Joe Reg

    And what about the video?

    Fear will not work this time around.

    May 16, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  23. Mike from CA

    McCain you have flip-flopped on so many things its not even funny.

    1) He was pro-choice and now is pro-life
    2) Was for gay marriage and now is against it
    3) Is against lobbyists but has 51 on his staff
    4) Says its irresponsible to set a timetable in Iraq and now he says he will have us out by 2013
    5) Says we should talk to Hamas in 2006 and now says we shouldn't even though they haven't changed.
    6) Was against torture but for waterboarding
    7) was pro-ethenol and now is against it.]
    8) called Bush's tax cuts "irresponsible" and said they "hurt his conscious" but yet now he supports them being permanent.

    May 16, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  24. ne, Pa.

    McCain talks out both sides of his mouth!
    He'll dupe you with all his smoke and mirrors.

    May 16, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  25. Retired Master Sergeant Larry B. Speights Sr.

    As A retired Military Sergeant who served our country for Over 24 years. I find it sad to see someone like Huckabees The republican needs to go on CNN and tell the people the world. That his joke about Barrack Oboma getting shot at the NRA Convention send the wrong message out to our College people as well as the young people. We have a high crime rate in the United states. If he want to do something good help fix our housing problems, our Gas problems and our food problems we have here in America. I have never in my Life time see someone Like Huckabee that will get away with such words on tv. I also Have to get you to CNN: You are very good reports, However to set and take what he said as a joke will and do not set with the rest of the world.

    It is time for change, As a Soldier the Va, the wway we go to war has been very much the wrong way. No were to take shows the Va, station are still very unclean. The Va do not take care of soldier retuning home.

    Homeless Vets, nor people on our America Streets are not good.

    Tell Huckabee thank for supporting a Retired Military Master Sergeant who spent 24 years serving our country. With Joke like that what will be next.

    May 16, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
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