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)



    October 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. White-African(born there) American Military BRAT

    OUR COUNTRY IS TURNING BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    check out the electoral map at electoral-vote.com

    Obama 346 McCain 181

    Colorado just went ALL blue!!!!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Dan

    From the media I have learned that Sarah Palin is 'too inexperienced' to be a heartbeat-away from the presidency. * Apparently taking on corruption in your own party and running a state that's the same size people-wise as Delaware (hint hint: that's where Joe Biden is from) is not really experience. * However, time spent as a 'community organizer' and less than 180 days in the senate where you've authored no significant legislation is just the type of 'change' we're looking for from the top of the ticket.

    Funny – inexperience at the top of the ticket is a mantra for 'change' and 'hope' while strong practical everyday experience as the #2 is cause for concern.

    October 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. Doc

    McCain: The next thing you be saying is that Obama is hanging
    around with OJ.

    Bonnie and Cylde last ride.

    Game over!

    October 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. landi

    What is wrong with this mutt. first he had talks of castration now this. mr jackson will u just please shut up.

    October 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. Phil in KC

    Obama is starting to win back the Jewish vote and that scares McCain, because it means he could take Florida. Looks like "The Great Schlep" is beginning to work, so the Republicans are firing up the campaign of fear – again.

    October 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. Mr. Smith

    Jesse please go and sit in a corner of the world that has no use for the media or other mordern advancements like West Virginia...please shut your mouth..your time is over....we don't live in that part of America any more...thanks for your services but now it's time for you to go home sir...

    October 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Holly

    Jackson does not speak for the Obama campaign. He is as guilty as Palin of spreading falsehoods. Like an unfortunate pitbull in a ring, The McCain campaign is desperately jumping to attack anything that it can to win. McCain loses, though, because those of us who are moderates have lost all respect for him.

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. mary ca

    McCain campaign is so desperate boobooobooo

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. Greg

    The illogical, fanatical outbursts from the left which I've seen on these blogs is truly frightening. If this is an accurate snapshot of how a bulk of the rest of the country "thinks", this nation is in trouble.

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. obamania

    Jesse Jackson is just another failure like George McBush..so if he knows better, then I ask he just shut the hell up!!! aint that was the same guy who said Obama was dehumanizing black folks? man Jackson should jus shut up and go work onhis blue coalition failed campaign..

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. Robert..

    More proof that Jesse is an over the hill rabble rouser, who thrives on fomenting racial discord

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Brian

    What the hell is this dirty spin? Jesse Jackson has nothing to do with Obama's campaign!

    The fact that McCain thinks Jackson's comments have anything to do with Obama's views simply means he sees two black guys and thinks they're the same guy. That's totally racist!

    Obama has stated many MANY times he is pro-Israel and will stand to support Israel's rights in the middle east. So screw Jesse Jackson... and screw McCain for trying to tie them together.

    They're both shameful.

    Obama/Biden '08!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. Linda

    Sarah Palin will rely heavily on what Todd Palin says and the media should start questioning his political views because he and Palin are going to run the WH. Jesse Jackson needs to shut the hole in front of his face because he doesn't speak for Obama/Biden.

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. Crazy the race is still close

    Hey Texas Trail Dog , McCain is an adulterer too! But guess who isn't Obama, so get your facts straight. And who cares about Jesse anyway, it was plain to see on Fox News that Jesse don't like Obama.

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. there abouts

    well, on the plus side, at least he's not talking about how he wants to cut Obama's you-know-whats off. Seriously, it's been a long time since Jackson was relevant, informed, or both. And anyway, if you think that Obama's going to change the rules with Israel, just think what Palin will do. I mean, if someone were to explain to her where Israel is first.

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. Frann

    Jesse Jackson needs to speak for himself. And only himself unless he is part of a group that sanctions his speaking for them.
    He brings more problems than solutions with his words.

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. gl

    Jess Jackson is like the rest of the old head racist people. Most people black or white over 60 have race issues. Jesse Jackson is a jealous fool and is mad becasue he did win when he was running.

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. Thomas

    Rev. Jesse Jackson should consult with his son before he opens his mouth !
    Sarah Parin is speaking right now about Guns, Moose , Anger and tax separation from the Union!
    Jesse get back to Atlanta !

    Keep the dream alive for all !
    Si,se,puede !

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. Kevin

    Jesse Jackson is a want to be, he loves the spot light and will say anything to be in it. To hec with him and John McCain.

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. NB

    Cnn why are you reporting this. Are you trying to put Fox News out of work. When ever there is any false claim by McCain capmagin that becomes a headline here. Yet to hear anything about Palin contraversies. Thanks to Martin for being a true jornelist.

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  22. Debbie

    Would somebody shut Jessie Jackson's mouth. Whenever he speaks he causes trouble. He is still trying to be seen and heard and get some attention in this election. Maybe his son will rebuke him again.

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. usualone


    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  24. jim

    Mr. Jackson is entitled to his opinion, but he is clearly (at least to the rest of the world outside of Sen. McCain's campaign team) not part of Sen. Obama's campaign. That Sen. McCain would run with his comments, shows true desperation. It would behoove Sen. McCain and his proxies to focus on statements actually made by his opponent. Moreover, focusing on real issues like the economy, would be more appropriate, and probably give him more traction. Sen. McCain's campaign team reminds me of the "Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight". They are simultaneously incompetent and off message.

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. Starxzilla

    Can we vote Jesse Jackson off the Island? He's not a very good player on this team.

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
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