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. robert

    Jessie Jackson should shut his TRAPS and keep all his SILLY comments to himself, apparently Jackson is getting STUPID/ SENILE.Everytime he open his mouth what comes out it just STINKS, SHUT UP JACKSON , LEAVE ALL COMMENTS TO THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN .

    October 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. fed up in Ohio

    Since when did Jesse Jackson speak for Obama ?
    That man will say or do anything to be in the spotlight .

    October 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Wow, let's really examine what McCain is saying:

    Jesse Jackson is black. He made some dumb comments. Barack Obama is black, therefore, he must be tied to what Jesse Jackson is saying.

    By that rationale, John McCain can be tied to everything every Klan member has said. That is just some daft thinking.

    October 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. AL

    To "A Real Voter" who wrote...
    So, we'll likely have to suffer through four years of this ultra-liberal leftist regime.

    Guess what, they may be the best 4 year of your life and that is better than we can say about the last 8 YEARS OF OURS!!!!!!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. Blue in NC

    Sounds like ol' Jesse is feelin' a tad jealous! If he can't be the first black president, he will torpedo anybody else who tries. As a Jewish person, I take him as seriously as I do Sean Hannity and Billo the Clown.

    Obama/Biden '08!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. Love130

    All of this is hogwash like earmarks and pork barrelling. It's so in your face people. Wake up and vote for a decent American right now!

    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. Lara

    Texas Dog when you named the Adulterers you forgot John McCain and Sarah Palin.

    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. mary

    Since when does Jesse Jackson speak for Barack Obama or his campaign? Jackson says stupid things on a regular basis–including about Barack Obama. The McCain campaign is jumping on his latest stupid comment as though he speaks for Obama? Ridiculous.

    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. AIB

    That is stupidy and ignorance to the limit. Now, for the McCain camp, Senator Obama has to answer or apologize to any comment made out there. We are tired ogf this stupidity.

    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Riaz

    yea... change is Jesse Jackson for Secretary of State???!!! What a joke...

    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. Bridget

    Why does the McCain campaign think Jackson speaks for Obama...because they're both black? McCain is reaching...

    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. Dan

    I don't understand why democrats are so quick to say things that Bush does = McCain, yet things that Ayers, Jackson, Write say don't = Obama. Seems a little hypocritical to me...

    Of all the Obama supports i've met and let's be honest, there's a ton, none of them know anything about his past. They go completely and totally on what he's saying now. Makes me sad, because I think people should judge presidential candidates based on what they have done, not what they think they can do... Like the bridge to nowhere comment, Obama voted for it twice... It's not that Obama is bad, he seems like a good guy and is a fantastic speaker. It's just, his record is very average, he's not a reformer, he's a politician...

    Please voters, really do your homework....

    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  13. No McPain

    Who the hell cares what Jesse Jackson says about anything? He's a joke.

    How about Palin's Jews For Jesus group at her church?

    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. JL





    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. Bruce

    Jackson needs to remember he is not running for office!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. Sharon

    As far as I remember, they (President Obama and Jazz-a$$) haven't been together since Jess called himself dissing Pres. Obama. Who CARES what JJ has to say...He needs to worry about that kid he had with that woman that's NOT his wife

    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. he just don't get it


    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. Ashley

    Why is Obama taking heat for comments made by a man who wants to castrate him?

    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  19. al in memphis

    If you look at Jacksons criticize Obama, you would know that Obama does not share his views. What's next - Castro comes out an makes comments that Repubs attribute to Obama. We laugh at celebrity entertainers when they fall over themselves with stipud comments.
    At this point Jackson is no more than a celeb entertainer!!

    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. Bob

    Jesse has only recently supported Obama. In 2000 in a congressional race he supported Bobby Rush. Jackson has also made some not so pleasant comments regarding Obama in the last year, so why would anybody think Jackson speaks for Obama?

    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    McCain is the one that is naive when it comes to the rest of the world and this is just more proof of that.

    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. No More Mistakes

    So because Jesse is black...he automatically becomes connected with Obama? He has no relevance to Obama. Here is a new headline: John Stewart made fun of John McCain last night. It's shocking news because they are both white and should know exactly what the other is thinking.

    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. elva wilmingtoon

    Jesse Jackson is so upset that he is not in anyway part of this historical election. He will say anything for attention. It is said that women do not support other women. What is Jesse doing!!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. jen

    Jackson said he wanted to castrate obama too-is this guy someone who is on Obama's side?? NO. Jackson needs to shut his trap.

    October 15, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  25. Karl

    Jesse Jackson crossed Obama's path earlier. The result was a resounding repudiation of the words from Obama and the campaign, which includes Jackson's son. We all know that Jesse does not speak for Obama. That is simple and clear.

    October 15, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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