April 19th, 2008
03:25 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain camp says Hamas wants Obama

[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.

Obama supporter Rep. Robert Wexler responded to the McCain fundraising e-mail Friday. "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.

UPDATE: EDITED to reflect that the World Net Daily/WABC exclusive interview has since been widely distributed through other news outlets.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (980 Responses)
  1. pg

    I just decided I will not vote for McCain under ANY circumstances. That is a cheap shot and doesn't say much for McCain's supposed "great" character...

    April 19, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. Not buying it

    Please.... Al Qaida wishes that McCain would win... long term presence of the U.S. in Iraq is an excellent recruiting tool. And the threat that we will take over the region, Rape the land and implement McDonalds everywhere...

    If you believe the republican claim, you should believe this one... both are equally stupid as campaign issues. You cannot speak for these radical groups and to try is to play on people's fears. A failure of Democracy results from a vote based on irrational fear rather than substance.

    April 19, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  3. Plainsman

    How low can McCain sink to attain the oval office. If this is any indicaton as to the nature of his campeign than we are in for a long seven and a half months.

    April 19, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. Garvin P

    McCain is a hypocrite. Pretends to hold some moral high ground, the absurd conceit of conservatives everywhere, then pulls this nonsense again and again, selling lies and fear for political gain. Horrible man, horrible camp. His support, tacit and vocal at times, for the current administration's inhumane policies make him more like a leader of Hamas than the other candidates.

    April 19, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. tina

    Wow, I guess McCain has abandoned his commitment to a clean campaign and is prepared to wallow in the mud with Clinton. I just lost a little respect for the guy.

    April 19, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. Lia Redegeld

    I don’t believe it! They do it again. Republicans can not campaign in an honest way. They always have to break their opponents by spreading lies and twist ones words. Now they try to relate Obama with Hamas. It really is a disgrace! How can you, people of the USA, let this happen! Campaigning in a dishonest way made George W. Bush president of the USA twice! And look what a mess he made of it. Do you really want to reward this despicable behavior again? Then nothing is going to change, I tell you. Poor people stay poor and rich people will become richer and richer.

    April 19, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. d blake

    The bankrupt g.o.p. playing the "fear" card, again. Politics as usual.

    April 19, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. Matt from Iraq

    Why is John McCain listening to what Hamas says? That makes about as much sense as listening to what bin Laden has to say. Our foreign policy should be what's best for our country, not what's not good for Hamas, al Qaeda, or any terrorist group for that matter. Do you think the leaders of Hamas are credible in what they say anyway?

    April 19, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. Mr Independant

    Another example of republicans and Hillary supporters using scare tactics. Maybe we should never speak with Hamas or anyone who disagrees with our views, but realisticly thats not how problems get solved. Regardless to what the GOP thinks we're not going to be able to bomb our way out of this one. The fact that one of the most known "terrorist organizations" ( I have to use quotes because they're elected officials in Gaza) see a glimmer of hope in the future is only going to inspire the people more. The whole world knows we need change, it's not just Hamas Senator McCain.

    April 19, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. john Masciandaro

    of course Hamas likes Obama..they both share a hatred for the U.S

    April 19, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  11. Paul

    I doubt that Obama changes, or whoever the next president is, would bring any joy to Hamas.

    April 19, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. Larry, Hazleton, Pa

    What a joke you are Mr McCain – This is clearly an attempt to "Swiftboat" Obama. You and your people should be ashamed of yourselves. You who wants us to stay in Irag for 50 to 100 years. For those of you who want to buy into this idea you must be prepared to send your children to support this action – Just keep that little thought in your mind as you consider who to vote for – Me I have made up my mind and I want no more of the "Bush" or "McBush"

    April 19, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  13. Donna Eddings

    So much for McCain being a "straight talker" and above typical "Rove-like" tactics.

    April 19, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  14. Joe Reg

    I mean for the Mc Cain campaign and the Republicans to make Hamas a factor in deciding the politics of America is way over the top.

    I mean when you think of it, the scope of the issues, the interplay between the States primaries and caucuses, and the amount of investments that are involved are part of America strength and the strength of the candidacy of Senator Barack Obama. No other powerful State can compete on that level, let along Hamas. Thank you very much!

    April 19, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    The US says it wants to promote democracy in the Middle East, yet demonizes Hamas and refuses dialogue with them after they won the election fair and square, something that the Bush/Cheney regime can't claim. Heaven forbid Obama suggest dialogue with a democratically elected government seeking to ease the unspeakable suffering of the Palestinian people which lies at the heart of the woes there as Israel decade after decade ignores Resolution 242 and occupies territories it took in its pre-emptive 1967 war. Then again, the US seems to want "democracy" only where there is a LOT of oil. The McCain campaign needs to do much better than this.

    April 19, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. David, SC

    I expect better than this from McCain.

    April 19, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. Real people for real man.

    Senator Mccain and his campaign strateges are fruad. They want to doap people of their money through fraudulent practices, false beleif and wrongful interpretations.

    He should campaign on Mccain issues what he beleives in and what he will offer the country.

    April 19, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. Bruce Taylor, Berkeley, CA

    And the Tartars give high marks to McCain; in fact, they remember him.

    April 19, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. AllAmericankid, Marietta, GA

    Hamas is anti-Isreal, not anti-America...............not going to sell.

    April 19, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  20. Okon

    McCain..........this is rubbish, Hamas is not my problem right now, this fuel price is my problem, how to pay my morgage is my problem, this bad economy is my problem. Youbetter stay focus and talk about the our problem, hamas has never attack us on US soil.

    April 19, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. Daniel






    April 19, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. Edu Minnesota

    I think this is instigating unnecessary fears. If Hamas supports Obama, that means they can listen to him. Mind you Obama has been consistent in our support for Israel. Hamas support also signifies that Obama has the ability to bring people together. That we talk with our enemies do not in anyway diminish or compromise our strenght; rather we gain some respect. Again, polls in the streets of Europe show that ordinary people in the street wants Obama to win. His winning I believe will boost our international policies.

    April 19, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  23. Bobby

    How could John McCain say that he supports this kind of dialogue? I am a proud supporter of him, but I find this outrageous. Obama is right in this case to be standing behind Israel in condemning Carter's talks with Hamas. President Bush has a foreign policy in relation to Hamas that is supported by many Democrats to not talk to Hamas as it is a terrorist organization- we don't hold talks with Al Qaeda, why should Jimmy Carter be sent to hold talks with Hamas, who shell Israeli cities often.

    April 19, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. mar

    They certainly do!!!! So do the Black Panthers. Even have their support on his website. Obama can do anything, and we "BLINDLY" ACCEPT IT.

    April 19, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  25. Mike

    How sad, John Mccain! As a 30+ year resident of Arizona I admired your service to the country and what you endured in Vietnam. Sadly, however, you are simply just a politician aren't you?

    I had not made up my mind on whom to vote for yet. I was going to closely follow the debates and make my decision.

    Recently, Hillary eliminated herself from my consideration with her erroneous recollection of being "pinned down by sniper fire." Sorry, you'd absolutely remember if you were in that situation and would probably remember it vividly. She lost her credibility right there.

    Now, Mccain is using this ridiculous approach. Of course Hamas would favor Obama.....he doesn't want to continue this ridiculous war. They'll be happy to see us go away. I don't want us there either, does that make me a person that sides with the terrorists? Nope....and my 15 Years (and continuing) of Honorable service to the U.S. Navy supports what I'm saying.

    I guess my mind is made up now.

    April 19, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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