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. Zac

    WHAT?! This is out and out pandering from Obama. So much for meeting "without precondition." I am sorely disappointed. What's the point in talking at all, if you refuse to do it unless they already agree to what you're going to talk about!

    Obama 08, even though I'm not as thrilled as I once was...

    April 22, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  2. CM

    In my opinion, Hamas is a rebel group fighting for a cause (whatever that maybe). They do not represent a state/country; as a result, Obama is correct in his analysis. Carter should not have gone there to meet with their representatives. This type of discussion should occur through other channels.

    Willing to meet with leaders of enemy states is different than meeting with representatives of a rebel group.

    April 22, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |

    Who's Jimmy Carter?

    April 22, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. Yes Carter

    Obama please do not play politics on this...Was it your idea we should meet with our friends and our enemies??

    I support you and have donated several times to your campaign, but I don't agree with you on this. I understand you want to please the jewish by this talk but you will loose your self and your prinicples...

    Carter is right and he is a brave maaaaaaaan

    April 22, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  5. DJ, LA, CA

    He only SPOKE to them and was offered a 10 year truce. It wasn't an official visit.

    Yes I'm sure they do have many supporters in the U.S. as there are many many thousands of Palestinians living here.

    What do you people expect? They Palestinians lost their country and had it replaced by Israel. Israel must come to grips and finally offer a serious dialogue to offer a reasonable peace offer with the Palestinians.

    April 22, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |

    Oh... that Jimmy Cater. I thought he was dead.

    April 22, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  7. The truth

    No Obama...

    Was it your idea to meet with our enemies... You need to fire your advisor who told you to say this...
    We liked you because you challenged the status quo...I donated a lot of money and was excited about you, but if you can change your opinion this quickly then good bye
    You may get a few jewish votes for this but you are going to loose millions of people who liked your ideas of improving America's image in the world. The core of this image will be solving the Israeli-Palestenian conflict...

    April 22, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  8. democracy?

    Who said if Hillary wins the US will be internationally dispised? I came from a foreign country, got my Ph.d. in the US. I have lots of international friends, and we all hold high respect to Clintons. In fact, about 90% of us will vote for her. As to Obama, in our own language, he is a "Huyo" - a man who only uses words to incite people but lacks any record or ability to deliver. He didn't earn his today's position by any concrete work. Vote Hillary!

    April 22, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  9. Al Bush

    Well it looks like I have arrived at the hater's blog. Obama said that he wld meet with "world leaders" about their bad behaviors and speak to the "world leaders" that we have issues with. He didn't say that he wld meet with the heads of every criminal enterprise. "world leaders" eg Kim jongill of north korea, akmid medejenadad of Iran, Juego Chavez of Venezuela. Leader who are considered in bush's little axis of evil.

    For the republican can't preach about meeting with leaders b/c we still haven't found bin laden and guess what nobody wants to meet with us to try to locate him. In the mean while spending billion per day in Iraq. Guess what he may not be there. So chopping up the words of a man without seeing the whole picture is not only ignorant but un american. Because like bush we don't need all the fact just little pieces and parts to make a case. We don't need the whole puzzle just a little piece.

    Stop the hate

    Obama 08

    April 22, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
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