September 27th, 2008
01:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Kissinger defends McCain on Iranian relations

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger defended McCain's stance on Iranian relations Friday night."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - In a response after Friday night's presidential debate, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger defended Sen. John McCain's attack against Sen. Barack Obama for Obama's willingness to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "without precondition."

Immediately following the debate, the McCain campaign released a statement from Kissinger backing the Republican nominee's sentiments on structuring any talks with Iran.

"Sen. McCain is right. I would not recommend the next president of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the presidential level," Kissinger said in the statement.

"My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Sen. John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality."

McCain and Obama sparred during the debate over how to best handle relations with Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly threatened Israel. Both candidates referenced Kissinger's comments from a CNN forum last week in which former secretaries of states discussed several topics including Iran, and the
presidential candidates disagreed over what Kissinger had said.

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soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Anonymous


    GO OBAMA08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 27, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Whats left in your wallet?


    September 27, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. Give me a breake

    The point is henry did say yes to high diplomatic level meetings and yes he says no preconditions ... This gives us more moral credibility so that all the world will join us .and obama says if it would serve our national security ... Then yes . Bush mccain stratagy has failed.

    September 27, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. carol

    John McCain is just a sad, angry and disrepectful man......there is nothing honorable about the way he conducted himself last night......shameful.
    He talks about Iraq with great pride as if getting those 4.000 + killed in a war that should never have been was a great achievement.....he is just like George Bush, when he talks about the war his whole face comes alive with excitement!!!! DISGUSTING.
    I have no respect for this man at all POW or not, he is not fit to lead this country with his arrogant persona and he would not be greeted too kindly with his attitude by world leaders.
    Time for him to get another career, because Presidential he is NOT!!

    September 27, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. Dylan

    Oh please I watched you on camera with Amanpour and your answer was specifically "yes" no preconditions. It's a moot point if with Sec. of State, lower level diplomat or President.

    Why would Kissenger email CNN right after the debate? Sounds like one the GOP surrogates did it and lied. I highly doubt he would trivialize such a minute detail.

    September 27, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. Tom

    The bias and shameless lies and conclusions about this race are going to sink this country into the abyss. The media will get the leaders it is pulling and lying for and we all will reap the benefit in lives, treasure and influence.

    September 27, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Independent

    1 out of 3 Vice Presidents have gone on to become President in the US. Can we afford President Palin?

    "as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America – where? where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is....... from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there." – Sarah Palin.

    September 27, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. Glenn; Bakersville, NC.

    The day of the old "War Horse" is over. It's time to put a Statesman in the White House to try to rebuild some of the diplomatic aspects of Diplomacy. Call me confused but the presidency should not be a position that utilizes a "Shoot First" mentality.

    September 27, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. democrat

    I agree with Senator Obama. You keep your friends close but you keep your enemies closer.:)

    September 27, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. Mark


    Kissinger is the most important statesman of the past 50 years and you act like he is nobody.

    Following Obama's philosophy, it seems like Obama would be willing to sit down and chat with Hitler...just like Chamberlain did. And we all know how well that turned out. Naive and dangerous, just like McCain said.

    Oh wait, that's the past....history....can't possibly be relevant today. Because...human nature has changed SO much in recent years. People are no longer greedy, or crazy, or just plain evil. Right! Can't we all just get along?

    And now you jjust keep hoping you can vote yourselves know it's all you are hand to vote and the other hand on my wallet.

    All the libs were crying that the debate wasn't going to happen last night...but it did. They were so believing that McCain would self-destruct and their messiah would win the day. Didn't happen - the messiah has never actaully DONE anything and it's so obvious.

    A billion dollars in earmarks in just a couple of years from Obama - the special interest king. Watch the money run out of this country if the socialist Obama is elected.

    September 27, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. Rick

    These guys are just spinning the real issue. The real issue is communication. Even Richard Nixon said it was important to meet face to face with adversaries. When and how is just spinmeister fluff.

    September 27, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. Voter

    I watched that form and Kissnger and I several other said the we must meet the Iranian leader without preconditions. Also did anyone outthere hear McCain used profanity during the debate. I did, I have watched the video clip and DVR several times. He Did!! McCain needs to have more respect for this country than to do that. He could not even look at Obama. That is so disrespectful and he wants to our leader; what a joke. If America elects this man; we will never ever, ever, ever, regain respect in this global world again. It you not believe my check this out on you tube @

    September 27, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. pakuna

    welcome to the world according to obama. You do as I say when I say it and you do it how I say it and where I say it. See all you obama boys and girls in Afghanistan.

    September 27, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
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