April 29th, 2008
01:50 PM ET
14 years ago

Blitzer: Democratic candidates careful on Carter

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/04/art.blitzer.cnn.jpg caption="Candidates are focusing their fire on Hamas, not the former President."] WASHINGTON (CNN) - When it comes to former President Jimmy Carter and his recent controversial meetings with Hamas leaders in the Middle East, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama seem to be on pretty much the same page. They say they didn’t like the meetings and they, themselves, wouldn’t meet with leaders of a group the U.S. government brands as a terrorist organization. Still, they are clearly uncomfortable in criticizing the former President.

Obama and Clinton do suggest that they would have a dialogue with the leaders of North Korea, Syria, Iran and Venezuela, but only under the right circumstances and with the appropriate advance preparation. They differentiate between meetings with these kinds of state leaders as opposed to leaders of Hamas.

John McCain says Barack Obama should have gone further in condemning Carter’s meetings with Hamas. “He should repudiate President Carter, reprimand him, and specifically tell him he should not have that meeting,” McCain said.

Now, President Bush has also weighed in on the controversy - though, he, too seems uncomfortable in directly criticizing a former president. At a news conference at the White House Tuesday, he hammered away at Hamas, not Carter. “They’re the ones who are undermining peace. They’re the ones whose foreign policy objective is the destruction of Israel,” he said. “That’s the reason I am not talking to them.”

Jimmy Carter has strongly defended his meetings, insisting such a dialogue could help the peace process by moving Hamas toward a more reasonable stance toward a two-state solution – Israel alongside a new Palestinian state. He says he did in fact win such a commitment from Hamas leaders while in Damascus, Syria.

What do you think?

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. 5 enlightened X OBAMA fans


    April 29, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  2. Grif

    Obama "Reverend Wright was my Mentor"... So ask a youg person the Question today, "is Borack Obama you're Mentor"???

    April 29, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  3. Dee Dee

    I think if Jimmy Carter can do something from a humane standpoint, more power to him. He is a good person with high morals and was a great president. Certain few had a different agenda; that's all.

    April 29, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  4. American expat

    If you are a supporter of real peace then one would realize that President Carter has been one of the few individuals that has tried to gain peace in the Middle East. If you don't want peace then you will decide that Carter's position was wrong. But, if you think that there is any hope for peace then maybe people should realize that President Carter may be the right person to broker a deal. Has anyone seen any real proposal for peace come from the current administration? How realistic is it for Pres. Bush to accomplish peace? America has been suck in the sand for at least the last 8 years and it's time to make change.

    April 29, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  5. Another 58 yr old for Obama

    What harm does it do to talk to anybody? At least we all know that Jimmy Carter does not lie, as do the ones we have now.

    April 29, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. Sudhir Malik

    How can anyone expect that Hamas leaders will denounce the violance against Isrel and stop killing, while they are killing their own brothers (FATA group)

    April 29, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  7. mitch from ark.

    carter is a proven man of peace.mccain is an admitted war-mongerer.bomb bomb bomb iran....clinton's no better.obama is the only one being honest.

    April 29, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |

    Carter just Wants Attention , He's Trying To Keep Himself In The Lime Light . He's A Super Delegate That's All !!!! . Nothing Earth Shattering Here .

    Hillary 08"

    April 29, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  9. ron

    When are citizens going to denounce these clowns that disrepect America ... her good history and charitable ways and superior miltary. As I see it, Durbin, Murtha, Schumer, and the beloved Jimmy Carter, among others in "leadership" should be tried for treason and shot for their utmost disrespectful actions against this great country. Freedom of speech is a valued right, not an avenue to freely spew anti-American retoric as they have.

    April 29, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Breaking news,

    North Carolina Robocalls Giving False Info To Blacks! Check Huff Post, cnn will not post this, you need to warn your friends and family in North Carolina!!!!

    April 29, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  11. dorothy

    I am glad that we still have President Carter, that is not afraid to reach out to what we call our enemies. This about it his Enemy allowed him to return to the United States unharmed. A Great Man, that knows how to lead by EXAMPLE! (NOT OUT OF FEAR)


    April 29, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  12. Russ

    28 year old White MAN in FLORIDA...You moron. The pastor of which you speak was not Clinton's pastor. All the real stories, not the blog crap you speak of, identify this pastor as Clinton's pastor, true. But they are talking about the town of Clinton's pastor, not Hillary Clinton. What idiotic, right wing, conservative conclusion without investigating the facts. OPEN MOUTH AND ISERT FOOT. I repeat , moron!!

    April 29, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  13. Ann DeWitt

    Could not believe President Carter today in the situation room saying he did not know which canidate to endorse. What full of crap this guy is. He announced awhile back that his family is for Obama and he would have to follow. Should stay off television if he can't remember what to hell he says. Sorry Wolf did'nt remind him of his previous choice.

    April 29, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  14. Russ

    I really think it's time for Blitzer to retire. What a boring CNN reporter, anchor or whatever he is supposed to be. My 96 year old grandmother would be more exciting to watch and listen to.

    April 29, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  15. Thomas

    Wolf, how can I buy gas where your preview shows we are taking stress at the pumps. The pump prices you depict are about $2.70 a gallon. I want some of that gas.


    April 29, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  16. Tom

    I think Carter has become just another sad joke who has tied his wagon to Obama.....or is that around his neck?? Hamas and ties to a Presidential candidate just shouldn't come up as often as it does with Obama – get this loser out of here already – we need a STRONG candidate who can win in November and it's become glaringly obvious that Hillary is that candidate. Obama is f.o.s. about his next step back on Mr. Wright – a day late and a dollar short and my hunting and church going daddy used to say. Can't help but wonder if the two of them planned this "split" so that he could try to get the baggage out of the closet.

    April 29, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  17. jack

    why why do you play rev. wright every 15 min. you play it so much i feel nothing when you show it again, except to turn to a nother news source, or is it you can only do 1 thing at a time (small minds)there at cnnn) please show it a couple of time and get on with other news im sure there more on bedsides dr wright. i will vote for omba so please go on to more news you nut i could care less agout rev. wright

    April 29, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Wolf Blitzer, I'm appalled by your seedy little retort to try to keep the Rev.Wrong,,,I mean Wright alive. Obama has come out with a statement that puts this issue to bed,,,can't you put your seedy little comments to bed and get on with the real issues or are you demonstrating to the viewing audience what you claim not to be,,,narrow or the vulgar "R" word. Please clarify for me. I'm watching your show now and hopefully you'll comment on air. If ot, I won't be surprised.

    G. Sharpley gvjames@ralcorp.com

    April 29, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  19. Jason Rouse

    Wolf, I'm glad today to see more important issues facing Americans are being debated today. Yesterday, I felt like CNN and the rest of the media world had lost all sence of debating the issues that Americans are concerned about. To see all day yesterday, Monday 90% of the coverage was about the Rev. and his relationship to Obama.

    Before today, I was going to make a suggestion to you and the CNN staff, I'm here in Atlanta, if you guys don't have anything important such as Gas Prices, Iraq, Healthcare, Education... to debate, invite me to the CNN studio and I'll be glad to give you guys a better sense of the issues that we should be debating in this Election year.

    April 29, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
1 2 3