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

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

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[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. Khal Houston,Texas

    It was always with "conditions" stupid....we sat down with the North Vietnamese....to end the Vietnam War....this is how it is done...everyone has a right to come to the table....and negoiate...including my Israeli brothers......wake up America...we have to began somewhere...right? Obama '08....the only sensible choice...!

    April 22, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. angela

    Hamas is the democraticly elected government of the palestinian territories, according to some of you if Obama only talks to leaders of countries he wouldn't talk to any one in disputed territories.. not everywhere is a country just a few months ago Kosovo became a country so I guess that means Obama wouldn't have talked to the leadership there

    April 22, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  3. LT for Obama

    Chris, you hit is on the head: For those of you who missed it, here it is again. Chris said:

    "People, get a CLUE!!! Think before you post your knee-jerk reactions!!

    Hamas is a terrorist organization, NOT A COUNTRY!

    Iran is a COUNTRY, Iraq is a COUNTRY, the USA is a COUNTRY!

    Obama has said he will meet with leaders of other COUNTRIES that the US does not have a good relationship with, NOT a terrorist organization."

    Are we paying attention now?

    April 22, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. gerard morei

    All Obama supporters are brain washed by him and the Oprah financial machine!!!!

    April 22, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. beyonce pride

    THE SUPER DELEGATES WILL RALLY BEHIND HILLARY IF SHE WINS BY 10 points, proving Obama can't win Blue COllar workers, the people the democrats need to win the general election with. Obama better be scared, that the race could be over for him if she gets that 10 percent and she gets all the remaining 300 super delegates. He would have no chance but to drop out. So by by Obama…

    April 22, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. thomasr@yahoo.com

    Carter continues to prove himself as a self interested, egotistical maniac. He wasn't successful as a president and he isn't about to become successful now.

    April 22, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. Tell It Like It Is

    Hamas is an organization whose representatives were democratically elected into the government posiions they now hold.

    Are they responsible for terrorists acts, "YES, they are"

    But they were put in power by the electorate; just like the we elect offiicals in the US

    April 22, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. jimmy vekmen

    IT HAS BEEN OBAMA'S IDEA TO TALK DIRECTLY TO OUR ENEMIES
    AND HE HAS SAID THAT MANY TIMES. HILLARY TOLD OBAMA, THAT ANY TALKS WITH OUR ENEMIES, SPECIFICALLY iRAN WOULD HAVE TO BE PRECEDED BY LOWER LEVEL DIPLOMATIC AND SECRET TALKS BETWEEN THE PARTIES. OBAMA TAKES THE OPPOSITE VIEW BY DIRECT TALKS WITHOUT PRELIMINARY NEGOTIATIONS. iT IS THE MOST OBVIOUS SIGN OF OBAMA'S INEXPERINCE IN FOREIGN POLICY . THAT AND OTHER SUBJECT OF HIS SPEECHES CAST A LOT OF DOUBT ON OBAMA'S QUESTIONABLE CREDENTIALS FOR PRESIDENT.
    I AM VERY DISAPPOINTED THAT ALL THIS IS JUST GIVING THE REPUBLICANS MORE AMMUNITION TO DEFEAT OBAMA IN NOVEVMBER.

    April 22, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  9. Charlie, Odenton, MD

    Barack, I will call him that because he is not worthy enough to be called Mr Obama, or President Obama (god help us), although Hamas is a "government known" terrorist organization, they do impact much of what happens in the Palestinian orgins. President Carter, has done more for bringing together people and organizations from around the world than most can imagine. He is a humanitarian and he is out to get the parties that need to be present there, and talking. Hamas is just another example. Sure its not necessarily the most popular thing, but it needs to be done. As does the American population, needs to realize that with Barack at the helm, expect more corruption in our government, high taexes for everyone, and most importantly a long long time before we ever see our USD (for those who dont know United States Dollar) be worth even considering on the open trade market.

    April 22, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  10. jimmy vekmen

    IT HAS BEEN OBAMA'S IDEA TO TALK DIRECTLY TO OUR ENEMIES
    AND HE HAS SAID THAT MANY TIMES. HILLARY TOLD OBAMA, THAT ANY TALKS WITH OUR ENEMIES, SPECIFICALLY iRAN WOULD HAVE TO BE PRECEDED BY LOWER LEVEL DIPLOMATIC AND SECRET TALKS BETWEEN THE PARTIES. OBAMA TAKES THE OPPOSITE VIEW BY DIRECT TALKS WITHOUT PRELIMINARY NEGOTIATIONS. iT IS THE MOST OBVIOUS SIGN OF OBAMA'S INEXPERINCE IN FOREIGN POLICY . THAT AND OTHER SUBJECT OF HIS SPEECHES CAST A LOT OF DOUBT ON OBAMA'S QUESTIONABLE CREDENTIALS FOR PRESIDENT.
    I AM VERY DISAPPOINTED THAT ALL THIS IS JUST GIVING THE REPUBLICANS MORE AMMUNITION TO DEFEAT OBAMA IN NOVEVMBER.

    April 22, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  11. Andre

    I'm not an Obama supporter, but his position on Hamas has NEVER changed. He is exactly right in criticizing Carter's efforts!

    After all, Hamas launched an attack on Israel the DAY AFTER Carter's first meeting with one of their leaders. And perhaps somebody can point out what exactly did Carter "achieve" with his meetings? Besides allowing Hamas murderers to make him look like an even bigger fool?

    And a quick note to Diva from Pennsylvania: read some history. It may produce some intelligent opinions for a change.

    April 22, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  12. Larry, West Covina CA

    Did Barack Obama say it was a "bad idea" of President Carter to talk with Hamas? If my memory serves me well, he said that we should talk to our adversaries. This Barack Obama character is just full of hot air!

    April 22, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  13. Ca Native

    HMmmm... didn't congress recently vote to call Iran's elite guard a terrorist organization???

    Yeah – let's sit down with Iran but shun Hamas. No hypocrisy when it supports the Obama campaign.

    April 22, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  14. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    If the Palistinian people choose to elect terrorists as their leaders-then they will suffer the consequences. Perhaps next election–they will make wiser choices.

    Our nations foreign policy and position on terrorist organizations should not alter..

    We can still provide humanitarian services to the Palistinian people–but we should in no way negotiate with a gang of terrorists like Hamas–who have killed, or attempted to kill Americans, Israeli's and others in the name of their Jihad.

    April 22, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. Kalifornia

    In a previous debate Obama said he would meet with our enemies without and preconditions.

    Our enemies are licking their chops...

    April 22, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  16. Tea Party

    Comedian Larry Miller said it best:
    "The Palestinians want their own country. There's just one thing about that: there are no Palestinians. It's a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like 'Wiccan,' 'Palestinian' sounds ancient but is really a modern invention."

    "Instead, let's call them what they are: 'Other Arabs From The Same General Area Who Are In Deep Denial About Never Being Able To Accomplish Anything In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death.'"

    Hamas, the "Palestinians" and Ol' Moss-back Jimmy Carter are a pack of tools, an odd-fitting and functionally-useless pack of tools, at that.

    April 22, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  17. Mike

    Obama is intelligent and insightfull. Carter was a silly old man when he was President and now he is just as silly and much older. About McBush's age?

    April 22, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  18. Tinac

    Aren't there people in office that are taxes pay for who can go and have these meetings? Why Carter and why now?

    April 22, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  19. Mike

    Native April 22nd, 2008 3:16 pm ET

    Obama says talking to Hamas is bad…. yet Obama has repeatedly said he would talk to Iran's leader Ahmadinejad (who recently called Israel a filthy bacteria, questioned the holocost, and supports a Palestine free of the jews).

    What's the difference, Obama?

    The difference Native. Is that Hamas is a terror group and Iran is a major nation.

    April 22, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  20. Young Rep

    Actually Hamas controls the Gaza Strip while the Fatah control the West Bank. They recently were fighting with each but have decided to have talks about the leadership of the PLO. Hamas has two wings political and military. Obama has flip floped on this issue..plain and simple. No matter what argument you make he has.... By the way Hamas did declare in Nov 2006 that all muslims should attack the U.S. and it is widely known that Hamas may have cells inside the United States...

    April 22, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  21. Grif

    But Obama... Mr Carter Love's you...

    April 22, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. kd

    What Obama said was that he does not have a problem with meeting with "world leaders" of various countries. Palestine is not a a recognize country.

    IRAN is a recoginize country with an elected leader.

    Chris you said it best – WAKE UP Folks and do your research!!!!!!

    April 22, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  23. big_puppy

    Everyone wants Obama to answer of every remark made by any and everyone. Give us a break.

    April 22, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  24. Sal in Phoenix

    Obama, you're a day late and a dollar short..why don't you try to come up with an idea of your own once in awhile..I think we're starting to catch on to your underhanded tactics.

    April 22, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  25. Nathan

    And yet Obama is on the record as saying he will meet with Ahmenijad, as much of a terrorist as the leadership of HAMAS. Carter was humiliated in the mid-east this week and if Obama becomes President, the US will be humiliated for 4 years.

    April 22, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
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