May 17th, 2008
11:30 AM ET
15 years ago

Obama-McCain flap a taste of what's ahead?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain aides said Friday they've been itching for a fight with Sen. Barack Obama and are eager to engage in a discussion about foreign relations.

Democrats accuse McCain of hypocrisy when it comes to his views on talking to Hamas. And with Obama holding the lead over Sen. Hillary Clinton in both pledged delegates and superdelegates, the back-and-forth on McCain's Hamas statements may be the first of what could be many altercations with the presumptive GOP candidate for president.

Meanwhile, McCain is continuing to deal with the fallout from an interview by Jamie Rubin, a Clinton supporter.

Rubin wrote an op-ed piece in Friday's Washington Post relating an interview he conducted with McCain on the British network Sky News shortly after Hamas won the Palestinian elections in January 2006.

"They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another," he said at the time. "And I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy toward Hamas, because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice ..."

In a January 2006 CNN interview, McCain stressed conditions Hamas would need to meet before establishing a working relationship with the United States.

"Hamas, now that they are going to govern, will be motivated to renounce this commitment to the extinction of the state of Israel. Then we can do business again. We can resume aid, we can resume the peace process."

Obama seized on that, blasting McCain for attacking him for suggesting it could be beneficial to sit down with the leader of Iran.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
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