May 16th, 2008
05:40 PM ET
6 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. white woman for Obama

    MCcain is joining the rest of the politican in flip flopping, lying, falsly accusing others, so on and so forth. I am surprised to see him join the pact. I was hoping that we were at least, going to have some honesty and integrity in the general campaign. Here we go! Thank you president Bush for being such a jerk and starting something dirty to talk about. Negative,negative, negative. When will we have some honest, hard working, proffessional polticinas? is there a chance?
    Please vote Obama. It's as good as it's going to get. I believe tht he will do what he says he will do.

    May 16, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  2. John Adkisson, Sacramento, California

    I love it when they have video. McCain's response doesn't take a thing away from his original response in Ruben's tape. The issue is hypocracy not policy. Eight years ago McCain would have been above this, but now he is preventing himself from growing any base beyond the 25% Bush loyalists. Time to start saluting President Obama.

    May 16, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. Fred, Atlanta GA

    That added on piece of the whole interview ABSOLUTELY said or changed anything fact is mccain is a FLIP FLOP we don't need anymore of bush type strategies it has gotten this country NO WHERE!
    I tell yah THE TRUTH HURTS these fools need to be a MAN ABOUT IT and STAND up for what you said! Especially when they have you on VIDEO can you change what you did or said on video.

    OBAMA 08/12 YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL!!

    May 16, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  4. joseph quaye

    BEWARE AMERICA- MKSAME IS FULL OF HATE AND GO TO WITH IRAN THE VERY FIRST DAY IN OFFICE-

    AMERICA EARN YOUR RESPECT BACK BY VOTING FOR OBAMA 08 AND 2013, THEN CLINTON 2017 AND 2022 UNTILL THERE YOU ARE SATISFIED WITH YA SELFS

    VOTE OBAMA- GOD BLESS YOU ALL

    May 16, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  5. vic nashville,Tn

    Aha this big issue
    Now mainstream media also join with politicians to destroy our life

    May 16, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  6. Truth-Chicago

    It isobvious that there is fear in the air in the Republican party. Obama is been attacked by the President, MCcain, Carl Rove, and Huckabee. What a full house! Unite Democrats before its is too late. Clinton do what is best for the party not what is best for you.

    May 16, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  7. Senior from San Jose, CA

    Who cares what McCain says? He is too high and mighty and he outrageously oversimplifies broad and complex situations which have tons of variables. We all know better. Obama and his presidential team will not fly by the seat of their pants. They will visit and revisit the situation and reach the right conclusions. McCain and Bush, how
    stupid do you think Americans are? Your demeanor is so anger-ridden.

    May 16, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  8. Tony, Miami

    Alzheimer?

    May 16, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  9. joseph quaye

    BEWARE AMERICA- MKSAME IS FULL OF HATE AND WILL GO TO WAR WITH IRAN THE VERY FIRST DAY IN OFFICE- NO MORE POWS-NO MORE WARS

    AMERICA EARN YOUR RESPECT BACK BY VOTING FOR OBAMA 08 AND 2013, THEN CLINTON 2017 AND 2022 UNTILL YOU ARE SATISFIED WITH YA SELFS AND BECOME RICH AGAIN.

    VOTE OBAMA- GOD BLESS YOU ALL

    May 16, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  10. RSH in MD

    I don't think the Republicans could have done us a bigger favor if they had planned it. Bush, Rove, Huckabee and their ilk are simply serving to bring Democrats together. Even though I am an Obama supporter, watching Hillary leap to his defense yesterday after Bush's outrageous comments showed me that we WILL be united behind one candidate, and before the convention. So, keep it up, you pathetic idiots!

    May 16, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  11. Linda

    Hehehe, are you serious?!?!?!!! There is a VIDEOTAPE of you saying these things. Seriously?

    May 16, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  12. Enlightened Voter

    Biff, Biffingten Your great man, you go boy! I support everything you say!

    May 16, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  13. Jay

    Obama could probably just go on vacation for about a month after the convention. It seems as though McBush and the out-of-date neo-cons will do everything necessary to lead to a total implosion of McBush's campaign. We're not even officially into the GE season yet, and this bumbling fool is already throwing up all over himself. It's very entertaining to watch. I hope Dubya, Rove and the neo-con freak cronies he has continue to speak up and be heard – that's all the country needs to understand that it's time for some basic competence in DC.

    May 16, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  14. Bill Denton, TX

    Dear Obama supporters.

    What exactly is YOUR guy's plan for Iraq? Was he telling the truth when he said 16 months? Or was he telling the truth when he said he could not promise they would all be out by 2013?

    Any of you who criticize McCain for this really ought to look in the mirror.

    May 16, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  15. Abrams-Seattle

    Why isn't Mc Cain insulted by flag pins? If all you have to do to be a patriot is wear a flag pin, then it seems that this belittles his time as a POW.

    May 16, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  16. Florida man

    McCain = Hamas must stop terrorism to talk with U.S.
    Hillary = (Tyrant) governments must follow conditions set by U.S. to make deals at all.
    Obama = I'll try to make deals with no preconditions.

    ....... Obama supporters are such hypocrits they can't even accept the facts spoken by the candidates themselves.

    May 16, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  17. NoBama

    A Clinton supporter lies???!!! No! Say it 'aint so!

    May 16, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  18. Marco

    I am a democrat, but McCain is right on this one. Rubin took excerpts of a tape that suits his version of the story and not the whole story. That is how Clinton campaign works, deception and half-truth. Obama please distance yourself from people like Rubin and other spineless people!

    May 16, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  19. joseph quaye

    OBAMA IS THE VESSEL TO BRING OUR DINITY AND RESPECT BACK- VOTE OBAMA

    MCCSAME HAS EXPRIENCE IN TAKEN VERY BAD DECISIONS ON YOUR BEHALF- SEND BACK TO THE WAR

    VOTE OBAMA JUST TRY HIM AND YOU WILL HAPPY YOU DID.

    VOTE OBAMA

    May 16, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  20. Unironic McCain Supporter

    "If there aren’t any, there may be a hiatus."

    That's not very strong, but it does mean he wasn't supporting talks with Hamas before policy changes. And the previous comments he made were ambiguous, that's why the reporter asked the follow up about regular diplomatic relations.

    What I find strange about all of this is how W's "Those who talk, appease" comments run in the face of his father's successes in dealing with the Soviet Union and the CIS. Getting a unified Germany into NATO was a huge coup, and so was organizing a unified Post-Cold War response to Saddam Hussein, and neither would have been possible without GHWB's soft-peddling diplomacy.

    May 16, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  21. r. johnson

    John McCain is a giant among pygmies. He has character, integrity, honesty, courage, and leadership. He was tied up in a POW prison while Obama was hangin' with the homies. No contest!

    May 16, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  22. Joe Reg

    The Republicans are all liars.

    America has republicans sickness.

    the repubs are going down hill.

    May 16, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  23. Jason

    It seems as though CNN has given up on pretending to be unbiased. They must be so sure of Obama, that they no longer hide their franchise tag from the DNC. I guess Cafferty and the rest of you guys like your government rod nice and deep.

    May 16, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  24. georgia

    John McCain arms are too short. He really dont look well

    May 16, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  25. Matthew in San Francisco

    I love how out of all the insane things Bush has said and done, it takes him "bashing" Obama for every Democrat to get up in arms. Gimme a break people! Is this just an excuse for Obama to put a negative on McCain? Where is this guys new politics? I'm waiting...

    May 16, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
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