September 27th, 2008
01:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Kissinger defends McCain on Iranian relations

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger defended McCain's stance on Iranian relations Friday night.
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger defended McCain's stance on Iranian relations Friday night.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - In a response after Friday night's presidential debate, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger defended Sen. John McCain's attack against Sen. Barack Obama for Obama's willingness to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "without precondition."

Immediately following the debate, the McCain campaign released a statement from Kissinger backing the Republican nominee's sentiments on structuring any talks with Iran.

"Sen. McCain is right. I would not recommend the next president of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the presidential level," Kissinger said in the statement.

"My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Sen. John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality."

McCain and Obama sparred during the debate over how to best handle relations with Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly threatened Israel. Both candidates referenced Kissinger's comments from a CNN forum last week in which former secretaries of states discussed several topics including Iran, and the
presidential candidates disagreed over what Kissinger had said.

Full story

soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. David Goldman for OBAMA

    WHO EXACTLY GIVES A CRAP ABOUT THE OLD NIXON

    BAG MAN? WE ARE TIRED OF COWBOY FOREIGN POLICY.

    WE ARE SICK & TIRED OF COWBOY ECONOMICS.

    September 27, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. Barney

    McCain is too quick to hop on the bandwagon for war with Iran.

    It's not necessary – yet – but I think Obama knows how to negotiate better than a hot-head.

    IF a war is really necessary, I would trust Obama and his military advisors more than the old warmonger that is still trying to win Nam.

    September 27, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. barry c

    Sen Obama not so smart to think Kissinger would not come out and support Sen McCain..

    September 27, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. Dr. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    KISSINGER CAN BE MCSENILE'S BAG MAN

    AS HE WAS NIXON'S. HE IS ABOUT 50YEARS

    BEHIND THE TIMES & OUR NEEDS. WE WILL

    CALL ON HIM TO DEAL WITH CZECHOSLOVAKIA.

    September 27, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. NJ

    Sitting down with foreign leaders that are untrustworthy, dispise our nation and ways of living do not deserve a sit-down talk without preconditions.!!!!

    Obama is so naive on this topic and should not be president of America!!

    McCain 08!!

    September 27, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. A NATION OF WINERS for OBAMA

    WE SHOULD ASK WHAT NIXON THINKS TOO.

    ALL THESE OLD DECREPIT BOYS THINK WE CARE

    ABOUT WHAT THEY THINK. AFTER WHAT THEY HAVE DONE

    TO OUR COUNTRY & ECONOMY,THEY CAN ALL GO TO HELL.

    September 27, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. canuck

    Where oh where is Hillary Clinton?! America is going down without her. Look at these two fools. Americans, you made a big mistake.

    September 27, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. Thed Weller

    Wow...I guess everybody that supports McCain will "lie" in order the make McCain "look" right on everything!

    September 27, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Kissinger is another traitor... he LIED about our involvement in Vietnam and Cambodia and eased into another unwinnable war.... sound familiar anyone? Lies? Unwinnable war?

    NO McCAIN for President....

    September 27, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. cecil

    Bomb Bomb Bomb MCCain!

    September 27, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  11. PP

    I watched the CNN program with % ex-secretaries of state. Kissingers's times are gone. no one gave him more attention after 15 minutes.

    What he speaks and says reminds me of alzhemeir disease. CNN please let him live in peace and dont call him any more for any advise. Its a new and diferent world now. Kissionger is past. Any way thanks for whatever u have done Kissinger good or bad, we are all human after all.

    September 27, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. Penn State Student

    Obama got caught with his pants down spinning comments again. Some may call them lies but I will give him the benefit of the doubt due to his inexperience and lack of understanding basic English.

    September 27, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. Barney

    NJ – there can be no President of America. America (N) is made up of Canada, US.

    Obama for president of U.S.A.

    September 27, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. Ryan Delaware

    THE JOINT NATION OF ISLAM AND THE UNITED TRINITY CHURCH POLL SHOWS: OBAMA 100%...WHITE DEVIL 0%.

    September 27, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. Tim

    I think both sides won the debate for their team. Republicans like offense and McCain was definately the one on offense. The democrats like defense, and Obama was definately the on that played more defense.

    So both sides played their game. Now the undecideds just need to figure out what type of game they prefer to play.

    September 27, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. shocked

    Henry You were on tv saying those words so you cant take them back now to save John

    September 27, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. Tim

    "WHO EXACTLY GIVES A CRAP ABOUT THE OLD NIXON "

    Umm, apparantely Obama does, he touted what he thought his position was.

    September 27, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. USAF Staff Sergeant

    How people think that we have the right to tell anyone "you HAVE to do A,B, and C before we even will consider talking to you"? It's called diplomacy people. You won't accomplish anything by ignoring people unless the agree to do whatever you want them to.

    September 27, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. concern

    Just like bush!!

    That's why the USA is in termoil now!!

    Do as i say
    or else!!!!!! Nobody cares!!

    September 27, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  20. mitch

    kissinger's lying because i watched and heard him say it! stoopid republicans. always lying.

    September 27, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. CD

    He's as senile as McBush. Does these guys ever retire? Its like every eight years or so, they go in the old closet or some corporate board and get these ancient ploticians (aka Rumsfield).

    September 27, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. JD in NC

    Uh, wasn't it already established that Obama beleives that low-level negotiations should precede direct talks with the President? Did Kissinger watch the debate? Obama's point was that Bush-style diplomatic "blackouts" have been worse than useless.

    September 27, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. KB

    Huh? Last week Kissinger says he's in favor of negotiatiion with Iran, and then he backs up McCrabby?

    September 27, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. n8tvcaligirl

    The fact that our (USA) maverick cowboy style of strong-arming other nations before we will talk to them no longer works is the reason why McCain is not best for our future. As all of the other leaders in the world have stopped looking at the US for direction because of this style, proves why we need to move forward for our future growth. McCain proved in the debate that he wants to maintain the maverick cowbow style and is a leader of the past. As McCain pointed out during the debate that bad government leads to a bad economy was the strongest argument why we need a change in the USA and not a maverick. Please vote this November 4th.

    September 27, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  25. a southern bell for OBAMA

    COWBOY FOREIGN POLICY & COWBOY ECONOMICS

    DON'T WORK FOR US (BORROWED THAT)

    WE ARE DONE, DONE, DONE & BROKE.

    September 27, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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