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. Rache from Bowie

    Weak and desperate. McCain has no credibility and his legacy as a "hero" is shot. In the last month and a half he's either made a fool out of himself or we have just discovered he was a fool all along. He is not a president and hate mongerers should not represent the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    Palin, god love her, she simply is dumber than a box of rocks.

    October 15, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. Jon

    It it good to read that so many people are not buying to cow dunk coming from the McCain shameful campaign. Saying Rev. Jackson speaks for Obama is like saying that Bill Ayers speaks for McCain. The skin color is the same so they must represent one another. That is crazy. Rev. Jackson is jealous of and does not want Obama to win. He wanted to be the first black president, but he is to extreme. You are seeing a difference between the militant black politician and one like Obama who understands it is not just about black america, but all of america. Rev. Jackson and Sharpton never got that idea. Most things in this country are racially driven, but not everything. If they would have understood that concept perhaps they may have made a better candidate. Although in closing I have to give him credit for fighting along side people like Medger Evers, and Dr. King. He wasn't high profile, but he was on the battle line fighting for the rights that I have the today. The same way people don't forget McCain's service to the military, I can not forget his service to the civil rights movement. I just wish he would understand it was not about him, it is about all of us as Americans.

    October 15, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. BM

    Jesse Jackson is a jealous jack--. He is a real hater and I guess he wants to castrate anyone who has something intelligent to say. By the way, how old is that daughter he got out of wedlock. Seems like he has a lot in common with the Palin's.

    October 15, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. Dave

    What would you expect about a presidential candidate that thinks we are bombing civilians and terrorizing families?!!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. SHELLI13

    McCain/McNasty/Palin the Failin and their campaign, the entire campaign are grabbing @ straws and because they have put themselves in the toilet they are trying to bring the Senator Obama/Biden and the Democrats in the muck and poop with them. Well it ain't going to happen! Last stand to the Bridge to Nowhere!

    Shelli13 former Republican now a True Dem for Obama!

    October 15, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. mayah

    check out the huffington post blog; keith olberman comments on the violent rhetoricat the Mccain/Palin rallies..... then make your own judgement call..

    October 15, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. therealist

    Jesse is sure to get an Obama call out for a cabinet position.., after the election of course.

    October 15, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. Jackie in Dallas

    Hey, Texas Trail Dog...you're giving Texans a bad name!

    Shall we talk about adultery? How about McCain's string of adulterous affairs while married to the poor woman who waited out his years as a POW, only to have him dump her when she was maimed in an automobile accident. Then he ended up marrying Cindy less than a month later. His legend on the Hill doesn't stop with Cindy, either. Or all the interesting stories coming out about Palin, which probably have as much basis in truth as the insinuations against Martin Luther King. Heck I can quote JFK's speech about "ask not what your country can do for you" - and does that make me an adulterer too?

    You know, some of you so-called Christians should go back and read the Bible. Jesus "consorted" with prostitutes, tax collectors, and other untouchables, and taught us to hate the sin but love the sinners. If you spent less time spewing hate and accusations, and more time reading the Bible and leading by example you would know that Christ said his most important law was to "love one another, as I have loved you".

    October 15, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. David

    How can you describe Jackson as an Obama supporter? Last I heard, he wanted to cut Obama's nuts off. This is obviously an attempt by Jackson to sabotage Obama. Why? Because an Obama presidency will make Jackson and the Old Guard completely irrelevant.

    October 15, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. Lee from FL

    Mccain is trying anything to change the course of this election.
    sorry man,this wont work either

    October 15, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  11. Joyce Matthews

    I can't begin to count how many times Barack Obama has described in detail his warmth and high regard for the United States' relationship with Israel. (Once again, McCain loses more points for taking comments out of perspective as he tries vainly to go after any possible opening against Obama.) It is not that Obama will change his policy toward Israel, quite the contrary; he will sit down with those leaders who oppose Israel, and do so without preconditions, opening the door to meaningful dialogue, finding solutions where McCain would most likely find reasons to keep the members of Bush's 'Axis of Evil' at arm's length. A dove as opposed to a hawk. The future of the world prefers the former's approach. Times have changed, people. Move forward. What we need now is a leader with a strong ethic and an exceptional awareness of the psychology needed to handle foreign affairs. Obama has it all. McCain has neither.

    October 15, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  12. Truth

    I am saying "Mccain is a MORON."
    I'm a white activist. McCain please make an ad out of this.

    October 15, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  13. Pat, Westminster, Maryland

    And Rev. Jackson knows so well what a President Obama would do because. . . . .he's been involved in advising him? No... . ., he's a really close friend? No. . . . , he's been asked to be in his cabinet? No. . . . he's been meeting with him regularly? No. . . .

    As always, and with all due respect, Rev. Jackson, just likes hearing himself talk.

    The McCain camp fancies itself as clever news reviewers, deftly finding the items that will bring Obama down. Yet time after time, their efforts turn out to be pathetic.

    October 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. Brad

    More politics of fear.

    October 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. gl

    Poor McCain is all over the place blaming Obama for everybody comments. McSane needs to retier before he start have heart trouble like Dick Cheney who is younger then McSane. Everybody needs to take heed with the fact that Palin will be our next President if McSane sure win and there is a very good change he will not finish out he first term.

    October 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. RealityKing

    What else would you call a complete withdrawal from the Middle East?

    October 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. chris s

    Saw all this coming! The far right radical zealots who helped elect GW twice and turned a blind eye toward the credible reports of vote tampering and cheating by the GOP are experiencing what's commonly referred to as "blow back" or the "boomerang effect". These idea's suggest that what ever silly BS you send out into the world will ALWAYS come back to smack you upside your head. The only way to avoid this is to lead from the center – which Barack Obama likely has the smarts to do.

    To all you Mc Cain lovers and still bitter PUMA's, your silly whining makes you look truly pathetic and I'm personally embarressed to have to have to call you fellow Americans.

    btw – this is coming from a progressive, tree hugging, Prius driving, latte drinking COMBAT vet married to a beautiful FRENCH woman with a son who has dual US/French citizenship – thank God! It's nice knowing we can always bail this country if the gun loving, hate filled hypocrital racist biggot false christians get to powerful.

    October 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. Chester

    Jesse has been out of the main stream of politics and does not represent black Americans views and certainly not those of Barack Obama. Stop taking disgruntled former "spokesperson" and using them to draw a picture of what Obama stands for. Jesse was a news hog from the day King was killed until now and he is bitter that a new force has risen within the black community and he is not its leader. Shut up Jesse, go home and prepare for retirement.

    October 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  19. Kevin

    A cheap ploy by the McCain campaign to target Jewish voters.

    This guy wanted to cut off Obama's you know what. He's an idiot.

    October 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. tulsa

    PoliticoPundit October 15th, 2008 11:30 am ET

    It's not what Jesse said by himself, He said Under Obama Administration, That means Obama is related and should be aware of what is going to happen in his administration. If jesse had said , under next president, it would have meant any president but he said under Obama administration, so Dems, Please read .. this is an ISSUE

    Hey dummy, there isn't an Obama administration. He's a Senator.
    Jackson is putting words in your mouth. How does that taste?

    October 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  21. Jonathan

    Jesse Jackson is old and irrelevant. Not only that but he's so completely jealous of Obama and the fact that he's poised to do that which Jackson couldn't, that he'll do anything to stop him. Get over yourself old man. No one cares about you anymore.

    October 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  22. MWA

    These blogs are so full of mindless conservative terrorists…AND campaign plants to flood ridiculous inflamatory comments toward Obama. So, we'll likely have to suffer through another four years of this ultra-right wing terrorist, race-baiting, hateful and misogynist regime…and I just hope (because you see liberals don't pray) that we make it through intact. SEE REAL VOTER, ANYONE CAN TWIST WORDS.

    NO ONE '08

    October 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  23. McSameMcCain on myspace

    McCain, release your medical records!

    October 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  24. Shenna

    Everytime McCain speaks he sounds more desperate. Why do so many Republicans seem to be about anger? Then there is Jesse Jackson whom I personally think is green with envy at what Obama has been able to that Jesse himself could not.

    October 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  25. JD

    B.O. 2008–Change we can be deceived in.

    Paid for by: ACORN, Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright & Tony Rezko.

    October 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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