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Americans Favor President Meeting With U.S. Enemies

First Posted: 06/10/08 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 01:35 PM ET

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An overwhelming majority of Democrats and Independents, and nearly half of Republicans, say that they agree with Barack Obama's position that, as president, he would meet with foreign leaders both friend and foe.

A recently release Gallup Poll survey shows that 67 percent of Americans think that president-to-president diplomacy, even with countries considered hostile to America, is a good idea. The findings suggest that far from being naïve and out-of-touch on international affairs, as Sen. John McCain has asserted, Obama is reflecting the overwhelming consensus of the rest of the country.

According to the study: 79 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of Independents, and 48 percent of Republicans say it is a "good idea" for the U.S. president to meet with enemy foreign leaders. In addition, 59 percent of those surveyed (including 48 percent of Republicans) say it would be a good idea for the president to meet with the president of Iran.

The bottom line, Gallup concludes: "McCain may eventually persuade more Americans that there is nothing for the president of the United States to discuss with hostile foreign leaders like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and that to do so only undermines U.S. efforts to destabilize such regimes. However, for now, whether it's the leader of an "enemy" country, generally, or the president of Iran, specifically, Americans think it's a good idea for the president of the United States to meet directly with the nation's adversaries."

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