Over the past few weeks, John McCain has pushed the idea that the terrorist organization Hamas is supporting Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Today, Obama hit back at McCain for the smear by association.
"This is offensive, and I think it's disappointing," Obama told Blitzer, when asked his thoughts about McCain's comments that the terrorist organization Hamas wants Obama to be president. "Because John McCain always says 'I am not going to run that kind of politics,' and to engage in that kind of smear is unfortunate, particularly because my policy toward Hamas has been no different than his."
"I've said it's a terrorist organization and we should not negotiate with them unless they recognize Israel, renounce violence, and unless they are willing to abide by previous accords between the Palestinians and the Israelis. So for him to toss out comments like that I think is an example of him losing his bearings as he pursues this nomination. We don't need name calling in this debate."
Will Thomas reported on the first example of McCain's camp passing the smear through a fundraising letter with the subject line: "Hamas Weighs In On U.S. Presidential Election." It also has a nice breakdown of McCain's repeated promises to run a respectful campaign.
McCain later repeated the Hamas smear himself, saying "It's clear who Hamas wants to be the next President."
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