October 15th, 2008
01:00 PM ET
6 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. Chris

    THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS.

    OBAMA HAS ALWAYS SAID THAT HE WOULD BE A STRONG SUPPORTER OF ISRAEL, OUR ONLY ALLY IN THE MID EAST.

    HOW THE HELL CAN MCCAIN REALLY USE THIS ISSUE WHEN THE COMMENTS DID NOT EVEN COME OUT OF THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN.

    DOES MCCAIN THINK THAT ANYTHING THAT ANY OBAMA SUPPORTER SAYS CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO OBAMA.

    IF HE REALLY WANTS TO PLAY THAT GAME, THE ALL OBAMA HAS TO DO IS PLAY SOME SNIPPETS FROM MCCAIN/PALIN RALLIES.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08, MCCAIN IS A SORE LOSER.

    WATCH HIM LOSE ANOTHER DEBATE TONIGHT.

    October 15, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. Tierney

    Jesse Jackson needs to sit down somewhere.

    October 15, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. Nimi from NY

    It's getting ugly out there. These last two eeks is going to be hell for both campaigns. I wish some of these people could keep their mouth shut until after the election. More so, Jesse Jackson has been at odds with Obama over many issues. And this happened to be one of them.

    October 15, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. cmatter

    so

    let me see
    now you want to blame Barack for what someone else said...
    the same someone else that just a few shorts months ago. threatened to dismember Obama.

    still grasping at straws i see

    October 15, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. republians hate america

    You know you are desperate when republicans start to agree with Jesse Jackson and Hillary Clinton

    October 15, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. Proud to be American

    Jesse and McCain are similar – old out of touch man who no one cares what they say..... gee get over it! I have read the tidbit of ecconomic policy of McCain and guess what? it does nothing for an average Joe such as myself.... if I was old perhaps and Rich definately but I am neither so I get tax to hell and back.... stop the madness old man. America don't don't be distracted remember to ROCK THE VOTE!

    **************************OBAMA AND BIDEN 2008 *************************

    October 15, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. chris

    Barack is his own man and jessie does not speak for him

    October 15, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. EVA

    Jesse Jackson- You call yourself a reverened? Do you know Obama's views on moral issues and what he is running for? You're a joke and so is Obama. Do you not see this is fitting into God's plan of the world coming to an end? You of all people calling yourself a "reverened" should know what the bible says and that who and what Obama is. We are causing our own destruction. People are so blinded to the truth( which the bible also says that is going to happen). Maybe if we go back to what this country was founded on- Christian views and start reading our bible more, we might not be in this kind of mess.

    October 15, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. Adam

    So much for "America First," I guess. McCain's making it clear that it's McCain first, Israel second, and probably America third. Still, third overall isn't too bad, but it kind of contradicts his slogan.

    October 15, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. RIF

    Please go away Jesse Jackson. Please. You are not nor ever have been part of the Obama campaign so stop telling people what Obama will do as President. What he won't do is allow you anywhere near the White House as he doesn't let you anywhere near his campaign. You are are walking distraction. Everything you say is controversial

    October 15, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. s.positive

    This is the same guy who wanted to cut his nuts off because he talks down on black people. Him and Al will soon be history as they will not be able to exploit race for their selfish agenda.

    October 15, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. Euphemia Lynch-Guevara

    Good Lord – if a puddy-cat miowed, they would say it was 'offending the McCain campaign policies' Give us break!Senator Obama and only Senator Obama speaks for himself, unlike Palin for McCain!

    October 15, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. Debbie in DC

    Why would anyone listen to Jesse Jackson about anything? Obama is not Jackson's keeper. If they have a problem with Jackson talk to Jackson, not Obama.

    I am tired of the Republican whinning.

    October 15, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. Jatovi, NC

    And this helps the economy how?

    October 15, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Dekonti

    The last time I checked, Jesse was trying to cut off Barack's ........

    And now the McSame Campaign wants us to believe that he speaks Barack? Give me a break!!!!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  16. RR in AZ

    Jesse Jackson is irrelevant!.....Just because we're BLACK, doesn't mean we all look and think alike!

    October 15, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  17. E B

    Jessie Jackson? Are you serious.? Is this not the same person that wants to dismember Obama's "member"? McCain wants to put stock in what he says? He would look mighty silly trying to do that. Talk about grasping at straws.

    October 15, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. bruja

    Best political team: Only WITH Jack Cafferty!!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  19. STL-Veteran

    They are really grasping at straws now. Everyone already know's about what Jackson said of Obama. And now they think we are going to believe anything that Jackson says...they are a bunch of clueless wonders over there!!! Next thing you know they will be saying that Obama has been having secret meetings with Bin Laden!!!!

    October 15, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. Mccain/Palin are liars!

    Keep it up Mccain camp you will go down in flames! Thank you for coming out as the bad guys and Barrack the good guy, keep spoon feeding us the election while you go down as the most dispicable campaign in history!

    October 15, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  21. Jerry, Illinois

    I live in Illinois and Jackson is a non issue in this state. Period!
    End of story.

    October 15, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. Keypinitreel, Ft Hood Texas

    Man these guys are at the ends of their ropes. Is it really that bad for the republicans? Jessie Jackson is in no way shape or form connected to Obamas campaign...next thing you know they will bring up anonymous blogs on the internet and try to use them as fuel for their fire.

    Better yet they will write them themselves.

    October 15, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. Jason

    Just because Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama are both black doesn't mean they think alike...

    Stick to the issues McCain...

    October 15, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. linda n carolina

    I hope the republicans take a good look at themselves after this campaign and realize what their party has become. Derision, inuendos, smears, lies and fearmongering. America is fed up with it and it will show at the polls. It's the economy stupid...like we have any money or manpower left to fight someone elses wars with 2 of our own going on! The whole world is crumbling what Jackson says is waaaaaaaaaay down on any list of things to be concerned about!

    October 15, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. ML

    Why is Obama responsible for Jackson's ramblings? How is Obama supposed to muzzle people who are not his surrogates and that he doesn't have much to do with?

    Listen, my fellow white folks. Just because they both have dark skin does not mean that Jackson speaks for Obama. Any more than Keith Olberman speaks for McCain because they both have white skin or Sarah Palin speaks for Hillary because they are both women.

    This country seriously needs to get over their ignorant pettiness.

    October 15, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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