[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/18/art.mccainemail.cnn.jpg caption="The McCain campaign says he would be tougher on Hamas."] (CNN) - John McCain’s campaign sent supporters a fundraising e-mail Friday that claims Hamas approves of Democrat Barack Obama’s foreign policy vision, and is hoping for his victory this fall.
“Barack Obama's foreign policy plans have even won him praise from Hamas leaders,” writes McCain deputy campaign manager Christian Ferry. “Ahmed Yousef, chief political adviser to the Hamas Prime Minister said, ‘We like Mr. Obama and we hope he will win the election. He has a vision to change America.’”
The McCain fundraising e-mail says Obama’s stands have earned him “kind words” from Hamas. “John McCain's foreign policy provides a stark contrast to the policies of Barack Obama,” writes Ferry. “While Senator Obama would surrender in Iraq and hold talks with the Iranian regime, John McCain will never surrender in the struggle with Islamic extremists. Please join our campaign today by making a generous donation of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or $2,300.”
In response to earlier comments by McCain over Obama’s position on former President Jimmy Carter’s meeting with Hamas – when the Arizona senator said that “Senator Obama does not have the experience to make the right judgment as to how to deal with terrorist organizations, obviously” and that he approved of the dialogue – the Obama campaign said that the Democratic presidential hopeful did not condone the former president’s decision.
“Proving once again that the Straight Talk Express has lost its wheels, John McCain is repeating tired and divisive attacks about Barack Obama that he knows are flat out untrue,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. “Barack Obama disagreed with President Carter's meeting with Hamas and has said so repeatedly, and we look forward to John McCain's clarification and apology for his latest false political attack.”
UPDATE: Obama supporter Rep. Robert Wexler responded to the McCain fundraising e-mail. "John McCain likes to talk about the civil campaign he plans to run, and yet today he has engaged in a shameful, divisive, and cynical kind of politics that he pretends to reject - all in reckless pursuit of campaign dollars," said Wexler, calling the message "empty tough talk and divisive fear mongering."
"We call on Senator McCain to reject this embarrassing and outrageous tone, and to join with Barack Obama in calling for an America that is united in its determination to isolate Hamas and support our ally Israel," he said.
(Updated 5 p.m. with Obama response; EDITED to reflect that the World Net Daily/WABC interview has since been widely distributed through other news outlets.)