October 15th, 2008
01:00 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain campaign targets Jesse Jackson comments

Jackson is a supporter of Barack Obama.

Jackson is a supporter of Barack Obama.

(CNN) - The McCain campaign is targeting Barack Obama over recent comments from the Rev. Jesse Jackson suggesting the Illinois senator would fundamentally change U.S. policy toward Israel.

"It should not surprise anyone that Obama’s supporters see what others, from the terrorist group Hamas to Iranian President Ahmadinejad, have seen: an Obama presidency would bring real change to America’s policy of support for Israel," said McCain senior foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann.

Jackson's comments came at the World Policy Forum in Evian, France last week and were quoted Tuesday by New York Post columnist Amir Taheri.   According to Taheri, Jackson reportedly said that under an Obama administration, the "Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades" will come to an end and as would America's policy of "of putting Israel's interests first."

"Obama is about change," Jackson said. "And the change that Obama promises is not limited to what we do in America itself. It is a change of the way America looks at the world and its place in it."

Officials from the Obama campaign immediately distanced themselves from the comments, noting Jackson is not an adviser to the campaign and does not speak for the Illinois senator.

"As he has made clear throughout his career and throughout this campaign, Barack Obama has a fundamental commitment to a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, and he is advised by people like Dennis Ross, Daniel Kurtzer, Rep. Robert Wexler, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Senator Joe Biden who share that commitment," Obama national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said in a statement.

But the McCain campaign, who has long sought to portray Obama as naïve when it comes to foreign affairs and capitalize on the fact some Jewish voters have yet to warm to the Democratic presidential nominee, said Jackson's comment is telling of the kind of foreign policy Obama would pursue.

"Barack Obama expressed support for Jerusalem being the undivided capital of Israel and switched his position 24 hours later in the face of criticism from Palestinians," Scheunemann said. "Barack Obama has said it is a 'disgrace' that the United States has not met unconditionally with leaders committed to Israel’s destruction. Now, Barack Obama claims to be a strong supporter of Israel but his supporters - here and abroad - know better."

soundoff (464 Responses)
  1. Elizabeth - Texas - Former Republican

    McCain only knows the LOW ROAD. Let's talk about Sarah Palin and the ties her and the "First Dude" have to the Alaska Independent Party. Let's see the speech she gave praising them. Let's hear more about her Abuse of Power and Ethic Violations.

    October 15, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. lisa m

    Hint to McCain.

    Who cares what Jesse has to say. Dude's a hazben.

    October 15, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. Common Sense

    So basically since Jesse Jackson is Black he automatically knows what's on Barack's mind? That's weak.

    By the way, didn't he want to do some damage to Barak's private parts a couple months ago?

    October 15, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. TC in Ohio

    I am not putting much stock into this one. Who cares what Jesse has to say he just said a few months ago that he wanted to castrate Obama. He can't speak for Obama. My Jewish friend's please ignore this Jesse is being a hater.

    October 15, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |

    Just another reason to support McCain

    October 15, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. Good Grief Judas!

    Shut Up Jesse Jackson! SHUT UP! Weren't you going to cut Obama's nutz off?? NOW you're speaking for him???

    SHUT UP! and BE QUIET!!

    October 15, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. Common Sense

    By the way, where's the story on the McCain adviser lobbying for Saddam Hussein?

    October 15, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. Paul DObro

    OMG – a person not in a postion to talk of an Obama forgiegn policty and gives an opinion can now be attributed directly to Obama?

    Can we spell desperate?

    October 15, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. independent in Texas

    Oh give me a break..Obama has said many times, he is a supporter of Israel...more distractions..who keeps whining now ? Obama will be a person rest of world admires and gets along with TOO..McCain is acting like a spoiled little boy ! whats he goona do next, stomp his feet, cry mommie, I am not getting MY way ???LOL
    Sorry McCain, and specially Palin, \
    white independent who really are for Obama

    October 15, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. Another Republican for Obama

    Jesse is trying hard to be relevant; he's not even close to the Obama campaign.

    How does he know all this? From creeping up behind Obama trying to cut his you-know-what off?!

    *Country First* should be changed to *Study First*, as Palin clearly needs schooling.

    October 15, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. Barbara - Atlanta

    Jesse, go home!! Your time is over!!! Once an icon is now nothing but an idiot!!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. Elizabeth - Texas - Former Republican

    McCain only know the Low Road.

    Let's hear about Sarah Palin's endorsement of the Alaska Independent Party and what they stand for. The First Dude was a member. Let's hear about the Abuse of Power and Ethic Violations. Why won't Palin talk to CNN?

    October 15, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |



    October 15, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. joycelyn

    Another smear tactic. Go ahead, we all know Mr. Obama will do anything to protect Isreal. You are trying to make the American people scared of Mr. Obama. It will not work. Not this time.

    October 15, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  15. maxine

    Everyone knows that Jesse Jackson is not a part of The Obama Camp. Wasn't it Jesse jackson who want to castrate Barack Obama.
    why try to tie him to OBama?

    October 15, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. Republican for Obama

    Wow they are really grabbing for thin air now!

    October 15, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Republican Voting OBAMA

    We already know that Jessie Jackson words are his own and they have no tie to Barack Obama.

    Obama still has my vote and that of my entire family.

    Economy, Economy, Economy 08

    October 15, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. Darren

    Jesse Jackson is turning into a Rev. Sharpton. Both need to go away.

    October 15, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |

    As they continue fall off the cliff of issues. When this party hits and Obama is President they will all reep what has been sewn. Hate can only breed hate

    October 15, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. Chad

    Senator McCain talk issues, not smear!

    Obama/biden 08

    October 15, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  21. Straight Forward

    Jesse Jackson has been offering his comments no matter who is running for years. He had comments when Kerry was running and when Clinton was running for President. Since when did anyone take his comments as those of the candidate? As far as I know, he has never led any of those candidate's campaign. Jesse Jackson's comments are just that: HIS comments.

    October 15, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |

    Jesse Jackson has PROVEN how FOOLISH he really is. Jesse is EXTREMELY jealous of Obama. Jesse is ERRATIC and UNBALANCED just like John McCain is.

    October 15, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. Mike in IL

    WOW... CNN is finally starting to post some negative stories regarding Obama... Can't wait to read all of the horrible blogs posted by his supporters...

    It is about time that people start getting real stories and news!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. weneedstrongleadership

    McCain, had you run a clean campaign and made a better choice for V.P. you would have had a lot better chance. Now when you and your people wan't to call fowl, America understands where you stand . Sorry I had admired you for a long time, but I see you as being very dangerous for our country. We do not need the great deregulator and someone that sided with busch in so many ways, thanks but no thanks.

    October 15, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. Lucia

    John McCain continues to play his dirty game. Jessie Jackson doesn't speak for Barack Obama. Jessie Jackson couldn't win his one bid for the Presidency. Even Jessie's son told Jessie to "knock it off." This is just another of John McCain's "I'll stoop as low as I have to" to get votes. He is an angry anti-semite who is trying to destry a good, brilliant, decent man.

    October 15, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
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