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. UnBiased Common Sense

    It makes me wonder if McCain would be targeting Jackson's comments if Jackson was white because I cannot fathom how he ties Jesse Jackson with Barack Obama other than the fact that they are both black when it's obvious that the two do not like each other very much! It is so very obvious that Jackson does not represent the Obama campaign in any form or fashion and, once again, McCain is grasping at straws in attempt to pin something so superficial on Obama. Like many of the republican strategists have advised – McCain needs to stick to the issues as such ineffective attempts at low blows just makes McCain appear more incompetent.

    October 15, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. Dixie

    to a real voter,
    McCain/Palin are defeating themselves

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

    Shouldn't McCLOWN get busy with more PRESSING issues???

    October 15, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. Theresa in Minneapolis

    Blah, blah, blah... And Jesse Jackson and Obama are on great terms since the last time Jackson opened his big fat mouth throwing around his unasked for opinions.

    This is more of the same from a very desperate campaign. See ya at the debate tonight, McSame...

    October 15, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. Janeen

    Jackson is upset his type of leadership is obsolete nowadays!
    We don't want division we wan to be one nation under god!
    Him and Sharpton will be out of a job soon! They made profits off of keeping us didvided!
    They are afraid to give up that lucrative paycheck.
    Didnt he recently say he ws going to cut off Obamas youknow whats?

    October 15, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. Steven, Texas

    A person can not control what someone says. Jackson has been saying things for years that are rather far out, but that is part of the freedom of America. Speech. Obama can not control him. Republicans are constantly looking for more fodder to raise fear. They have not found anything Obama said to raise fear so they look for those that support him. Everyone has PERSONAL views and should not be construed to belong to anyone one else.

    I prayed for almost eight years that we would have a country long enough to get a real President, not a King. McCain and Palin are not the type of leaders we need right now.

    October 15, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. Sarah

    John McCain as a register democrat how do you dare talk about two strong figures of government. Now you have cross the line of racism. Now you may not think so but Lewis was right about you and I thought he was being modest. John you are to racist to be President. A President should have some guts to not let American know this but you have no shame.

    I am sorry that people like you for being the racist person you are but in today's society we are trying to rise above haters but you just bought it back.

    McSane/Palethic no brain no shame.

    October 15, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. David

    Jessie Jackson does not represent the Obama campain and I can guarantee he won't be a part of an Obama Administration. He needs to just go away and stop talking......don't even use the name Obama until this election is over...

    October 15, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Republican'ts

    How desperate can you get, now they're quoting Jesse Jackson, he hates Obama as much as McCain does! OMG!!

    October 15, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. xargaw

    Jackson does not advise, nor speak for the Obama Campaign. He has a history of speaking only for himself and sticking his foot in his mouth. How is anything he says "news?"

    October 15, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. Jerry Atrick

    McCain campers: If the covetous self-proclaimed Rev. Jackson (who by the way never graduated from divinity school) wanted to disect Obama it is obvious that he does not fond of either his character of principles so why tie to two together. You are all nuts!

    October 15, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. Raleigh, NC

    Jesse Jackson does not speak for Senator Obama, nor any of us who are African American. I am tired of the media and everyone else inferring that when one person speaks from our race, they speak for us all.....and certainly not for Senator Obama. He has a great mind of his own.

    October 15, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. Nate- Minneapolis

    From a man who said he wants to castrate Obama I don't think he speaks in the interest of Obama's campaign. This is more evidence that Jesse Jackson is out for himself. This is Jesse Jackson's opinion, and most people don't really respect it.

    October 15, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. Jeff

    Of course Jessie Jackson speaks for Obama!

    He doesn't work for the campaign, has no elected position in the party, and clearly dislikes Obama personally for stealing his 1980's thunder...

    But they're both BLACK! Come on!

    October 15, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  15. Bob Indianapolis IN

    Bye, Bye Moose and Squirrel!

    Google BIG SCHLEP! Jesse speaks for no one!

    October 15, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. The Oracle

    Lol. Whats funny is Jesse Jackson needs to shut his mouth. But its hilarious that the Repugs are trying to use "jesse Jacksons" comments against BO. Everyone knows Jesse's jealous, didn't he just mention surgically altering young BO's er.....body??

    October 15, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. ET

    I think Jesse Jackson is telling the truth this time

    October 15, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. Joyce E Neal

    McCain needs to get on track with America and stop trying to put the focus on topics that have no bearing on Education, Health Coverage, the Economy, etc. He is so out of touch, maybe it is his age.

    October 15, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. Kathy

    How funny-I knew you wouldn't put my comment up since I am not an Obama supporter!

    October 15, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. Jim

    Jesse Jackson has no role in the Obama campaign and speaks for no one but himself. That should be the end of the story.

    Unless you think that because he's black and Obama's black and so they must perforce think alike.

    In which case, that unbelievably racist attitude would be the story and not what Jackson said.

    October 15, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. Rebekah A.

    Jesse Jackson is so irrelevent right now! No one listens to him and McCain neesd to worrk about his declining poll numbers as opposed to digging for LAME Jesse Jackson comments! Sheesh! Get a clue!

    October 15, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. Spencer/Commonwealth of Virginia

    The McShame Campaign is abnormal as Dick Cheney's heart rythm.

    October 15, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. RJ

    I think this Presidential candidate is speaking the truth just like our commanders in the region who keep telling the same thing and ask White House permission to change it's startegy. As usual, Bush doesn't get it. That's why we need Obama who will pursue a common sense startegy.

    October 15, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. rodlang

    So Jesse needs to shut up...there goes the First Amendment when Obama is president. He'll shut down dissenting opinion.

    October 15, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. Obama the RIGHT Choice!

    Jesse speaks for himself and his own self interest. Not even his son agrees with him.

    Yo Jesse, Sit Your Behind DOWN!

    October 15, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
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