May 15th, 2008
10:30 AM ET
13 years ago

Pelosi blasts, McCain defends Bush comments

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[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain and Pelos reacted to the president's speech."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted President Bush's comments Thursday suggesting that Democrats believe "we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals" and suggested Senator John McCain denounce them.

But the presumptive Republican nominee himself defended the remarks, said he intended to make Barack Obama’s willingness to consider dialogue with Iran an issue in the fall campaign, calling on the Illinois senator to “explain [that decision] to the American people.”

“It is a serious error on the part of Senator Obama that shows naiveté and inexperience and lack of judgment - to say that he wants to sit down across the table from an individual who leads a country who says that Israel is a stinking corpse, that is dedicated to the extinction of Israel,” said McCain Thursday. “My question is, what does he want to talk about?”

Pelosi, who is leaving later today on a bipartisan congressional trip to Israel, said there is a "protocol" of not criticizing the President when he is abroad, but then declared, "I think what the president did in that regard is beneath the dignity of the office of president and unworthy of our representation at that observance in Israel."

The California Democrat added that she hopes "any serious person would disassociate themselves from the president's remarks, who aspires to leadership in our country."

But McCain told reporters that Bush’s Thursday remarks made an important point. “It does bring up an issue that we are will be discussing with the American people and that is why does Barack Obama, Senator Obama, want to sit down with a state sponsor of terrorism?” said McCain.

“…I will make this an issue with Senator Obama throughout this campaign, I believe in peace through strength, and peace through strength is the way that we have succeeded in the past.”

Filed under: John McCain • Nancy Pelosi • President Bush
soundoff (330 Responses)
  1. Mohamed Kabiru

    It is very sad to see Washington cronies who used the fear tactics for the past eight years thinking they can still continue to fool the American people.
    They want to clinch on power by using the old fear mongering card, please do not allow them this time, the whole world is tired of these Republican administration, Democrat be on the offensive expose these gays. They are weak they offered nothing to the world but Hunger and lost of wealth, America, look inside your savings to see the answer.

    May 15, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. AJ, IL

    Yes maam...You got 'em Nancy. McCain can't distance himself from GW Bush on important issues that matter most to Americans.

    May 15, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. MIKE


    May 15, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. RAY

    i hope and pray that nacey is defeated in nov. we need her out of the do nothing congress.
    she is bullheaded.

    May 15, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  5. Senior from San Jose, CA

    If Bush continues this kind of talk it will help Obama in Nov. It seems he is really sore about something. Is this how he acts out his failure as a president? He seems immature and rageful.

    May 15, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. mary czajkowski

    John McCain just lost the Presidency with that statement.

    May 15, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. Alisa--GA

    Please go ahead and support these remarks by the Pres. Bush. Those very words will come back to haunt you Sen. McCain. The rest of the US live in the real world and want to live in peace. You and this administration can even spell the word peace.

    OBAMA 08

    May 15, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. foye joslin

    Gee, do you think it might be called "Thinking OUtside the Box?" to actually consider the option of dialogue exchange. You never know til you try and the old guys will always do things the same old way, getting the same old results. No wonder the young people are stampeding to a "change" candidate.

    May 15, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. ne, Pa.

    Bush and McCain= drumbeat for war against Iran.

    May 15, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. DvlsAdvocat

    I have lost all respect that I had for Sen. McCain. I've admired him since I was a kid and read about his experience in the P.O.W. camps, and my admiration grew as I saw him stand up to the moronic positions within his own party. I voted for him in the primary because I KNEW he was a better man than his rhetoric had been on the campaign trail. But he has shown such a lack of judgment now, in chasing the support of the ultra conservatives, that I can absolutely not lend him my support in the general election, no matter who the Democratic candidate is.

    So, onto the dustbin of history John McCain. The world could have been a better place if you were true to your nature.

    Obama '08

    May 15, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. Eddie

    Bush and McCain, Shut the Hell UP

    May 15, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. Kelley

    Sen. McCain, I really have to disagree with you. I do not want my only son to go to war because you are not mature enough to have an adult conversation with our enemies. What are you afraid of ,that diplomacy would work better than war?

    May 15, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. Peter Mehlem Casanova

    I think the Bush noT the if he is a quality minded PRESIDENT
    needs to get his Breain his excamed quickly
    before he does more damage
    & does more harm to great Americans people and the USA
    and the world take a preacher Job Mr Bush you due well in the ropes

    May 15, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. Intelligence first

    Can you believe this guy? Peace through strength? Like Vietnam? Like South and central America and the school of the Americas? Like IRAQ?

    McCain is as dead and gone as Bush is...dinosaurs of a thankfully forgotten age. Our concern now is ... to finally have some "Intelligence" in the White House.

    May 15, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. David D Kollie

    A man of war is a man of war. McCain wants to follow suit but he denied a generous GI Bill that will help fighting men and women upon their return from the war fronts. No, let us support the soldiers if we are to shorten their lives by creating wars.

    It is time for peace. Peace, peace and no more war.

    May 15, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. Shakur

    I guess we can see where the Republicans are going in the fall elections. When in doubt smear, smear, smear. Or fear, fear, fear.

    May 15, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  17. big daddy from california

    the tactics of the past have not worked and new ones have to be instituted, why are we scared of something new? that is what is holding this country back, I believe in a very strong defense but you must begin by talking

    May 15, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  18. DannyCali

    I think Democratic blasted Pres Bush for what? he said same as Obama
    said in the campaign only. If their want to blast Bush why their didn't blast
    Obama when he said when he get elect he going sit down and talk to Iran
    and Cuba leader? and why the Democratic leader want Bush to fire his
    Secretary of State and Defense Secretary why didn't fire Obama when he
    said in the campaign and now he still on the top of Democratic Presidential candidate? Just shut-up if your guy want to win in general
    election because now you attack Bush is same as you attack Obama too.

    May 15, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  19. kim portland, oregon

    are these repubs living in AMERICA?!?!?!? they are soooo out of touch, losing solidly red seats on a regular basis, have the lowest approval ratings in the history of this country, and they STILL "stay the course", following their FAILED plans. mccain/bush/etc would be comical if they werent so DANGEROUS!!!!

    who IS john mccain. he has grotesquely morphed into whatever it takes for him to become president. how can someone even CONSIDER voting for this guy who's lock-step with a president who is the most unpopular, ineffective, and most damaging to our country and the world's stability in HISTORY?!?!

    that kind of terrible judgment and decision-making is NOT EVEN CLOSE to what is expected and needed from the most powerful person in the country, and arguably the world!!!

    May 15, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  20. Terry in Fl

    First the democratic leaders destroy Hillary, our only true hope. Then when they see that the democratic VOTERS refuse to vote for the DNC choice of candidate, they start attacking the PRESIDENT and therefore the Republican nominee. DESPERATELY trying anything to get OBAMA in office. They should have left well enough alone and we would have had a democratic president this year. Eat it and accept it DNC. You screwed the pooch and now the chickens have come home to roost!

    May 15, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. Lets unite Democrats

    Goes to show how different McCain is from G "Worst" Bush ! He going to be what Bush Jr was to Bush Senior.Let me make it more clear – Bush Jr went in to Iraq, left there with job half done – not procecute Saddam("bad guy").Bush Jr was the one to finally close the "bad guy" chapter for good.Now the "bad guy" is Osama.And Bush jr has caught him yet and i dont see anything happening before his term is over.So maybe the repubelicans hope for McCain to finish the job if elected.

    Pathetic.How can anyone sensible vote for this party?

    May 15, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. Joe

    This is just another example of why McCain is not qualified to be President! What an idiot!

    May 15, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. Kaci

    Mr. Bomb Iran? How are we stronger? the US is a sponsor of terrorism for going in and bombing a sovereign nation as a "preventative measure." Yes, McCain, you are a warmonger!

    May 15, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. kim portland, oregon

    good, please DO make this an issue "throughout the campaign", mcsame, then you will lose in a history-making landslide, which will give the american people a wonderful boost of positivity that will get us on track to rebuilding our country back from the depths you repugs have buried it!!!!

    May 15, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  25. Katy

    4 more years of Bush. Could that be clearer?

    May 15, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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