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. White-African(born there) American Military BRAT

    Sorry!! That was from 10-13-08

    Today 10-15-08

    Obama 357 McCain 181

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  2. Teddy

    Why won't Jesse Jackson keep his opinions to himself regarding what Barack will and won't do! Why does Jesse keep causing trouble for Barack?

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  3. Chris

    How about the GOP print what Jesse thinks a McCain administration would do? (i.e. further destroy our weakened relations with every other country)

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  4. sara

    Cheap attempt to gain FL votes. Who care what Jessie Jackson says anyway. He is anonying I never understand what he trying to say.

    October 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  5. Francheska Georgia

    And Palin can't find Isreal on a map!! Who cares what Jesse Jackson says, he is not a part of Obama's campaign. McCain needs to worry more about his own issues.... 😉

    October 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  6. Danielle

    Jessie Jackson is not the Emperor of "Black People"

    October 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  7. rene


    October 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. Bob (Illinois)

    Jesse who? Since when does he speak for Obama/Biden?

    Say goodnight, Senator McCain. And take what'-her-name with you 🙂

    October 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |

    McLame and his empty suit vp must have dropped a point in the polls.

    October 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. Vinton

    I thought Jackson had learned to hush since he made that comment about wanting to cut out Obama's privates. Jackson is now an irrelevant icon of the civil rights. I would hate to think he is saying these things deliberately......

    October 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. Kae

    These random comments by Rev. Jackson need to STOP!

    He's not an advisor of the campaign and he's not ingratiating himself on anyone in the campaign by creating more fires the Obama camp has to stamp out – particularly when these very comments could be used against Obama in an upcoming debate.

    October 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. tired of delusional blind sheep

    republicans hate israel

    because of the lies of the republicans and W.. we invaded iraq, making a weaker nation that is populated heavily by shiite muslims to the south. with a weaker government, iran now has an opportunity to seize upon the power and the better positioning to israel by way of southern iraq, the heavily shiite region of the country. thus ever inching iran that much closer to literally wiping israel off of the map.. now if you truly loved israel, why would you allow such a thing.. or are you just that stupid.. either way, neither deserve to run our country way over here on the other side of the world from israel, iraq and iran....

    October 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  13. murray

    Hmmm. Could Jesse be jealous? Perhaps. Why else make these comments at this time?

    October 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. Jen

    If the GOP is going to suggest that Jesse Jackson speaks for Obama, then they should be comfortable with the idea that all the people at Palin rallies who yell "kill him" and "off with his head" speak for McCain.

    October 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. Fed Up

    I think the thing to remember here is that we (the global community) must find a way to live with each other. That's what Obama is really about.
    I don't care what Jackson says, he is not running for office. I do, however, have a problem with almost EVERYTHING that comes out of Palin's mouth. She is by far the worst VP pick John McCain could have chosen. Again, it makes me question HIS judgement.

    October 15, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. chelle

    Oh for heavens sake – Jesse Jackson doesn't even LIKE Obama. Does McCain seriously think that Barack Obama would heed Jackson's counsel on anything????????? Or that the voters in the US are that stupid?? Ohhhhhhhhhh sorry – apparently JM does think that.

    October 15, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  17. chuck

    The repuglicans are putting words in peoples mouths when they should be more concerned with the lies and rhetoric spewing from their own.

    October 15, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. Oppose Zig Zag Express


    All those Lunatics at both McCain and Palin so-called rallies who spew gabbage such as "Kill him" "Terrorist" and so forth are speaking for McCain, sweet,how nice Mr McCain.

    By same measure then, McCain you are therefore a hate monger, a racist and a lunatic!!, how sweet!!

    October 15, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. Jazz

    Tell me one thing people. If McCain like to play tick for tat then what type of tactic will John and Sarah play in the White House. They will use Bush old plans to work to their advantage and we will have 4 more years of the same S???t as Bush. Now with this type of tactic John is playing against another top dog, John you are a racist sore loser. You know you can't win unless the American people feel sorry for your arrogance AHHH. Please McCain you need to stop this racial stuff before you create some power upbringing to this country.

    CNN if you don't ever publish anything else from me. This is worth publishing.

    October 15, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  20. Phyllis R.

    Who cares what Jesse Jackson says! He also said he did not speak for Obama so his thoughts about what Obama will do are irrelevant to say the least. What do all Black People speak for each other. Maybe Rev. Jackson has sour grapes becuase he didn't make it this far and wants to destroy Obama. Ever think about that. As usual the lying racist GOP party grasping at straws because that is the only thing you have left. If Obama looses it will be becuase of the cheating, dishonest GNC. Let's go back to 2000, Jeb, and that stupid Secretary Or State, stealing the election from Al Gore. How about putting extra Black people on the felons list so they couldn't vote. If Acorn is cheating good for them, they learned it from you sore losers. If old man McCain, and stupid religous nutball Palin win, the world will soon end after I'm sure. McCain showed he wasn't fit to lead when he tapped that winking, sportscaster, hockey mom, with the knocked up daughter to be his mate. But him in the old folks home and send her back to Alaska. Oh how she loves the US but she also loved her husband who thought it would be a good idea not to be a part of the US. How UNAMERICAN. She's the worst thing that could happen to Washington.

    October 15, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  21. Liz

    who cares about Isreal when America is so screwed up right now?!?! McCain is as weak as this economy....I'll do like everyone else and not even acknowledge Palin. It's as though she's not on a ticket.

    October 15, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. Annoyed

    Jesse Jackson. I hope someone castrates HIM. hahaha.

    October 15, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  23. surprised??????????

    suddenly the numbskull repugnants come out in force....where were they after secessionist piglin was found guilty of two counts of breaking the LAW? or they just happen to have got paid their minimum wage today for irresponsible blogging.....

    Texas Trail Dog!......sounds like you have the rabbies....sickening

    October 15, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. RICH RIO

    Jesse should keep his mouth shut Nothing smart ever comes out of his mouth anyway ..///

    October 15, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Laura

    Cheney's abnormal heart rhythm returns - I guess he saw ' W'

    October 15, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19