April 22nd, 2008
02:05 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama: Carter's Hamas meeting was a 'bad idea'


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/22/art.carter.jpg caption="Former president Jimmy Carter addressed the media in Jerusalem."]
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama told reporters that it was a “bad idea” for former President Jimmy Carter to meet with exiled militant Hamas leader Khalid Meshaal “without [Hamas] having recognized Israel or renounced terrorism or acknowledged previous agreements.”

“What we're seeing now is that even as President Carter suggests there is a breakthrough, you had some of the same old rhetoric coming out of Hamas representatives with regard to Israel,” Obama said during a stop at a Pittsburgh diner, referencing a statement made Monday by Meshaal that Hamas would not in fact recognize Israel.

“If we are clear about improving the day-to-day lives of Palestinians,” Obama said, “Then I think that will do more than anything to encourage Hamas to renounce violence, rather than simply sitting down with them.”

Filed under: Pennsylvania
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Richard

    Wait, didn't this guy say just a few days ago that we should meet with enemies of the nation? The hypocracy-meter just blew apart

    April 22, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. Matt, Nebraska

    Typical Obama. Wait for a couple days, read the polls, and repeat what the polls say.

    Gawd, this guys is slick Willie, but worse.

    April 22, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. Sky is the Limit

    You guys are just BITTER that Obama's gonna be the next President. The sooner you realize it, the better you'll be. Giddyup!

    April 22, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. Darth Vadik, CA

    No it wasn't,
    Hamas called for a 10 year truce if they went back to the original borders, in a way for the first time having Hamas indirectly acknowledge Israel. Carter did in one day more than Bush and Codoleeza did 8 years. But what do I know?

    70% of Isrealis wan to talk to Hamas, but the Neoconc of Israel, the Likud party, has everybody here thinking otherwise, but what the heck do I know?

    April 22, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. Christina from Las Vegas

    I think Obama is saying that it was a bad idea for President Carter to meet with Hamas. President Carter uses the same old style rhetoric – same old way of playing the same old game.

    Our relationships with the world, specially our enemies requires a new fresh perspective. One that is not based on color, money, oil...but on human beings needing to live in peace with each other.

    PA, make a difference – vote for Obama...for a change....

    April 22, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. Alonzo Demetrius

    B.O. has no idea how to govern in today's world. He has said he wanted to sit down and negotiate away all our enemies' concerns. Guess he didn't have HAMAS in mind?

    April 22, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. Erin

    Wow some of you people are stupid. He said that what J. Carter did was probably not a good idea. And what Carter did was go have discussions with Hamas without the US government's endorsement. The outcome wasn't bad, but Careter was speaking on behalf of (but without endorsement of) the US, which makes the US government look weak.

    Then again, can you imagine what might've happened if BUSH went to talk to Hamas? (shudder)

    April 22, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  8. AS

    Obama himself said many times that he would meet with "evil" countries without any conditions. People have decent memory will not foreget this. This guy is very naive and inexperienced. Be very afraid if this guy becomes president.

    April 22, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. maya

    Uh, ya.

    And he endorsed you (and is very much like you)

    White House: No Whimps Allowed

    April 22, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. Darth Vadik, CA

    Ca Native,

    This is how things get mixed up in translations, Ahemdinajad called the Israeli government bacteria, not Israel, and that is a difference. He called for the destruction of the Israeli government not Israel. And while I don't condone the things Ahmedinajad has said, there isa a big difference between the wrong and the correct translation.

    or we can keep doing what we've been doing for the last 60 years and keep excpecting different results.

    ...and didn't Carter also get Egypt to recognize Israel too, such a horrible man, yeah right, wake up sheepole.

    April 22, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. anon

    same old rhetoric from Obama. What is his church's views on Hamas and Israel? Therein lies his real views.

    April 22, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Marc

    Why don't you first ask Hillary what she would do, Barack, then you can let us know your next move.

    April 22, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. Sue in MI

    Jimmy Carter is one of the few men on the planet who is a true Christian and humanitarian. I admire his courage and ability to sit down with people and try to work things out.
    As far as Irael, we created the state, that is why we are so responsible for its safety. Study some history and you will see why the situation there is so bad.

    April 22, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. A Proud Typical Ordinary American

    Barry – bite your tongue. Jimmy is going to endorse you cause he doesn't want to be seen as the weakest democratic president of all time. He wants you to have that distinction!

    JImmy is such a nice guy and everybody loves him – however he wan't much of a President.

    April 22, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  15. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    It wasn't a bad idea to try for peace. But how can one negotiate peace when we've got people sable rattling in this country and making crazy threats like obliterating the world. I'm not calling any names, but they know who they are.

    April 22, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. Independent

    For everyone who doesn't understand the difference between Hamas and Ahmedinejad – Hamas is a terrorist organization, and Iran is a country. We may not like the leader of the country, or the direction it is going in, but it is nonetheless a recognized nation.

    Obama has said he is willing to meet with the leaders of countries with which the US doesn't have a good relationship. This is not the same as sitting down with a terrorist organization.

    And if you people actually listened to what Obama said, he has always said that he wouldn't negotiate with Hamas or other terrorists.

    Please, try to get a clue. It is really painful to read your uneducated posts on the subject.

    April 22, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  17. Teresa W. of Newport Bch, CA

    It's o.k. Carter....McCain didn't do it.....Bush would've been a target them......And Clinton would have been booed the minute he stepped onto their soil.

    You did a just and noble deed....I saw that you tried to reason and bring them together. Nobody else would not do what you did. I commend you for your efforts. To me you risked your life to speak for milllions of people. That took a lot of courage. He can truly say that he wasn't under any sniper fire.

    April 22, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. Bill

    There has to be preparation before meeting. I heard Obama say that in debates. There is a sitting president that is supposed to be asked this question not Obama. Obama has a right to say it is wrong at this point since he doesn't know what the conditions are and what preparation if any carter had before he did so.
    Obama all the way!

    April 22, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  19. AZM

    Well... I'll admit Obama is right on this one...
    Carter is out of his league... well... I guess he always was.

    April 22, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. Mike H

    All you guys hitting Obama for this comment...must you be reminded...Hamas is NOT a county. They have no head of state because they are not a state.

    Man some of you guys hating on Obama really are just looking to pick a fight.

    April 22, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. Venus

    Thanks Jimmy! Sooner or later – some body will have to talk with these people – if not – there will never be peace!
    Go Obama! Peace is on the way- with Hillary out of the way!

    April 22, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  22. Julie

    Jimmy Carter is placing more of a burden on the US than helping. He is not the current Presdient and seems he is thumping his nose to President Bush as if he knows what is best for us. We don't need more confusion. Did you see where the Iran leader wants Obama to win? Now why would that be? The terrorist world is trying to change America and our beliefs. The majority of us are Christians. I don't know about you, I am standing for my faith and will never ever change my mind. Does anyone remember 911? I don't want another wake-up call? And don't want to rub elbows with those who hate us and want to destroy us. I want a strong America and a strong defense. Elect McCain and you will sleep better at night.

    April 22, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  23. tim from Ravenna, OH

    Isn't this the guy that stated he would meet with world leaders without any prerequisites. How many times can he be caught saying one thing and doing another before the people and the media start calling him on it. Every day he makes me feel a little more fearful that he would be more dangerous to America than the boob that is in office now.

    April 22, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Wow...he'd even bite the hand of one of his most influential supporters!!

    Frankly Mr. Obama...what must happen is that ALL parties have to agree....that Israel should not have to give up ANY land that it conquered after being attacked by arab armies in 1967–except that land that it chooses to. Until the Palistinians, other Arab states–and terrorist wings–agree on that critical issue–there will never be peace no matter how much desired by either side.

    When you are conquered after attacking a neighbor with your armies–that conquering neighbor has beaten you...and that land now belongs to the conqueror. They should have thought of that before they invaded in 1967!!

    So far ...we've never had a President with the fortitude to admit that. Not Carter..and certanily not Obama.

    April 22, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. Ca Native

    Darth Vadik,

    OHHHHHH thanks for the clarification!! I guess the people of Israel should quit worrying about Iran's quest for nuclear weapons, the anti-semetic rhetoric from Ahmedinejad, the clerics, and Palestinian sympathizers? Right – Iran would NEVER provide support to Hamas or other terrorist groups targeting Israel... right???

    And to "INDEPENDENT" that says the difference between Hamas and Iran is that Hamas is a terrorist organization and Iran is a country. Uh-huh... Yeah because NO country would EVER wage war against Jewish people?

    You Obama supporters are naive wet noodles.

    April 22, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
1 2 3 4 5