May 16th, 2008
05:40 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain campaign to reporters: 'Jamie Rubin lied'

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(CNN) - John McCain’s campaign sent reporters footage of a 2006 interview between former Clinton State Department official Jamie Rubin and John McCain Friday which they said proved the presumptive Republican nominee had been quoted out of context in an op-ed claiming he advocated dialogue with the Islamic militant group Hamas.

Rubin, a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, had made the claim in a piece published in Friday’s Washington Post. A clip of the exchange, which came during an interview Rubin conducted for Sky News, was published on the Huffington Post Web site.

At the time, said Rubin, McCain told him the United States would not be able to avoid a dialogue with Hamas, which had recently won a majority in Palestinian elections. "They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another,” said the senator.

“And I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice,” added McCain. “…But it's a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that."

In a follow up question that was not included in Rubin’s piece or in the footage circulated online, McCain further clarifies his position when asked whether “the United States be dealing with that new reality through normal diplomatic contacts to get the job done for the United States?”

McCain responded: “I think the United States should take a step back, see what they do when they form their government, see what their policies are and see the ways we can engage with. If there aren’t any, there may be a hiatus. But I think part of the relationship will be dictated by how Hamas acts, not how the United States acts.”

The McCain campaign sent a link to that footage to reporters Friday with the e-mail subject line: “Jamie Rubin lied.”

In a statement released earlier Friday, the campaign said the senator’s position had not shifted. “There should be no confusion, John McCain has always believed that serious engagement would require mandatory conditions and Hamas must change itself fundamentally – renounce violence, abandon its goal of eradicating Israel and accept a two state solution,” said campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. David Goldman for OBAMA




    May 16, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  2. Alan in Fla., don't count my vote

    Just like the 100 years of war ad, this is out of context. I guess this is some of the change we can expect,

    May 16, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  3. JOE

    There is another on were he supports talkin to Syria .Its coming on Monday

    May 16, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  4. Jeanne from Michigan

    McCain's nickname should be Flounder, he flip-flops around so much!

    May 16, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |

    McCain is a old duck and a tired one at that. He needs to move aside and let the young and full of youth take over. His and Bush's nasty tactics are disgusting and divisive and out right lies. They need to stop. But, I know within my heart that God will get them in the long run. Just like he is spanking Hillary as we speak.

    May 16, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  6. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Hope all the kids and grandkids in WV and PA and OH and FL and MI are too old to be drafted – here we go again!!!!!!!

    Four more wars !!!!!! (they ain't saying 4 more years)

    Rove is back for McShame

    May 16, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  7. Blackwoman, Ohio

    Democrats please I beg of you keep from nominating Obama. I am upset that I will have to leave my party for the Independent or Republican party. Obama is a horrible candidate. I hate to agree with Bush but we cant have our president sitting with leaders of terrorist organizations. You cant compromise with terrorist, it is that simple.

    May 16, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  8. Helene

    The guy is delusional or he keeps having Senior moments. He did not vote for Bush (a lie he says), he did have an affair with a lobbyist (same) he did not say that he would talk to Hamas (etc ...). Pathetic old fool.

    May 16, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  9. The Truth

    Obama is a loser. So are his friends Ted and Edwards. So is the Governor from New Mexico, Richardson. Friends like these who needs enemies.

    May 16, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  10. Mike

    Was "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" also taken out of context?

    May 16, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  11. G at Dover, NH

    The only way McCain could undo his previous comment is if he followed it up with a resounding "NOT!"

    MCain's World! MCain's World! G-O-Party On! Excellent!

    (dude, I think I'm going to hurl)

    May 16, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  12. Jeff

    I am a Hillary supporter.
    Obama 1st said in one of the debates he would meet with these countries as president without conditions.
    Hillary said she would meet them like most presidents have said after many low level meetings, and higher level ones. If after there is significant progress Hillary would then meet these presidents and states as long as it could not be used as propaganda.

    Obama never said that until in later debates he changed or if you prefer modified his position. He started to say he would meet these rogue states after alot of preperation. So he is either lying on his original view, or he has modified it to reflect Hillary's stance but is just wording it differently.

    He lies. Also I read the interview on McCain saying he would have talks with hammas but when you read the complete interview Obama and his campaign distorted McCains words as to not use the complete interview showing McCain is consistant on his stance. It shows Obama and his campaign LIED

    May 16, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  13. Patty

    As scary as the thought of John McCain is it is not going to happen in this election. Barack Obama will win and we will not have to deal with the delusions of the other party.
    We will have a President who will bring real change to this nation and a President who will keep his word and one we can be proud of meaning the opposite of what we have had to endure the last 8 years!!!!!!

    May 16, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  14. Doug, Kentucky

    I use to like McCain. I thought Obama or McCain.


    May 16, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  15. Jeff

    I see people are sayin hey we talk wih ur enamies throughout history.
    Yes Nixon did so did Kennedy, but not without many many lower level diplomatic meetings and efforts.
    Obama said he would meet without any conditions. Only after a few debates did he modifuy his stance to say he would meet after pre-conditions
    He LIED. The same thing he accused Hillary of

    May 16, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  16. Ryan

    Are you people serious? McCain has not waivered in his stance at all! You Obama supporters are so fanatical for your candidate that whoever runs against him is wrong no matter what. This type of attitude is what turns off so many Hillary supporters, and it's what's going to ruin Obama's chances of being President. It's ok to have differing opinions, but try to know what you're talking about first. And for the record, if McCain is so much like Bush then why are the conservatives hesitant to back him?! It's because he's closer to the center/indpendent type of politics then to the right. He's not like another Bush, and the more you say he is, the more you prove that you haven't a clue what you're talking about.

    May 16, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  17. Doreen Augusta Maine

    McCain is quickly becoming non existent. He is so full of contradictions that I think the plan is to confuse people. If the voters don't know who he is, then maybe they will vote for him. I am really so unimpressed by McCain.

    May 16, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  18. Shpilk

    How can a video tape showing John McCain saying these things be a "lie".

    It was not taken out of context, the video was not hacked.

    John McCain said he would talk with Hamas. Period.

    May 16, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  19. tangy

    We here in the good old USA need a change. Mccain is fooling everyonewho votes for him. We should be tried of the way america is being ran by Bush and his followers we would be in a real bad war within days of Mccain taking office,We dont need any more killing of our young men and women. LET BE SMART about this no more Bush no McCain. we dont want it and God knows we dont need it no more high gas,no more high food,no more jobs over seas. Lets take care of America and its people. Time for change lets all vote for Obama

    May 16, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
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