Skip to comments.Obama accuses Bush of 'appalling attack'
Posted on 05/16/2008 9:52:25 AM PDT by Reagan Man
WATERTOWN, S.D. (AP) - Barack Obama has called President Bush's comments on appeasement "exactly the kind of appalling attack that's divided our country and alienates us from the rest of the world." Obama criticized Republican rival John McCain and President Bush for "dishonest and divisive" attacks in hinting that the Democratic presidential candidate would appease terrorists.
Obama strongly responded Friday to the comments Bush made in Israel on Thursday and McCain's subsequent words. Obama told a town hall meeting, "That's the kind of hypocrisy that we've been seeing in our foreign policy, the kind of fear-peddling, fear mongering that has prevented us from actually making us safer."
Obama said McCain had a "naive and irresponsible belief that tough talk from Washington will somehow cause Iran to give up it's nuclear program and support for terrorism."
Yesterday, Obama accused President Bush of "a false political attack" after Bush warned in Israel against appeasing terroristsearly salvos in a general election campaign that's already blazing even as the Democratic front-runner tries to sew up his party's nomination.
The White House denied Bush had targeted Obama, who said the Republican commander in chief's intent was obvious.
In short order, the controversy spilled across the presidential campaign.
John McCain, the Republican nominee in waiting, said Obama was showing "naivete and inexperience and lack of judgment" in his willingness to meet with U.S. foes.
Hillary Rodham Clinton then called Bush's original comments "offensive and outrageous, especially in light of his failures in foreign policy."
As the workday began stateside, Bush gave a speech to Israel's Knesset in which he spoke of the president of Iran, who has called for the destruction of the U.S. ally. Then, the president said: "Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along."
"We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it isthe false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history," Bush added.
With the president abroad and those seeking to succeed him campaigning at home, the transcontinental tiff signaled the early direction of the general election. Bush seemed to assume the traditional lame-duck presidential role in trying to help the Republican nominee-in-waiting, and Obama tried to maneuver for advantageand to show strengthwhile on the cusp of clinching the Democratic nomination.
McCain played his political role as well in tandem with Obama, notable for two White House hopefuls who are campaigning for a bipartisan governing approach free of the often divisive discourse in Washington.
By tradition, partisan politics comes to a halt when a U.S. president is on foreign soil, and Bush's remarks led Obama to quickly cry foul. The first-term Illinois senator responded to the comments as if they were criticism of his position that as president he would be willing to personally meet with Iran's leaders and those of other regimes the United States has deemed rogue.
"It is sad that President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence to launch a false political attack," Obama said in a statement his aides distributed. "George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the president's extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel.
In turn, White House press secretary Dana Perino denied that the Knesset remark was aimed at Obama. In fact, the language is fairly typical for Bush speeches, and Gordon Johndroe, a national security spokesman for the president, said Bush was referring to "a wide range of people who have talked to or suggested we talk to Hamas, Hezbollah or their state sponsors" over a long period of time.
One such person most recently was former President Carter, who held talks with Hamas leaders, leading to criticism from Bush officials as well as Obama and McCain.
Even as the White House said Bush meant no dig at the Democrat, Perino couldn't resist the opportunity to get in a small one.
"I understand when you're running for office you sometimes think the world revolves around you. That is not always true. And it is not true in this case," she said.
Meanwhile, in Columbus, Ohio, McCain said he took the White House at its word, but then he weighed into the spat himself, saying: "This does bring up an issue that we will be discussing with the American people, and that is, why does Barack Obama, Senator Obama, want to sit down with a state sponsor of terrorism?"
Asked if Obama was an appeaser, McCain said Obama must explain why he wants to talk with leaders like Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and added that Obama's position was a serious error. "It shows naivete and inexperience and lack of judgment to say that he wants to sit down across the table from an individual who leads a country that says Israel is a stinking corpse, that is dedicated to the extinction of the state of Israel. My question is, what does he want to talk about?"
Clinton, campaigning in South Dakota in advance of a June 3 Democratic primary, said Bush's statement had "no place in any presidential address. ...
"I have differences with Senator Obama on certain foreign policy matters, but I think we are united in our opposition to the Bush policies and to the continuation of those policies by Senator McCain." Clinton has criticized Obama in the past for his pledge to meet with prominent adversaries of the United States without precondition.
Although his political interest is keen, Bush has mostly tried to refrain from injecting himself into the presidential race.
He largely remained silent during the Republican primaries but appeared with McCain at the White House after the Arizona senator clinched the nomination and, since then, has talked up McCain frequently. As for the Democratic race, the president typically avoids naming names, but he has publicly disagreed with the positions of the Democratic front-runners, including Obama's expressed willingness to meet leaders of U.S. adversaries.
The debate over whether a president should directly negotiate with such leaders has been one of the most prominent issue differences in the race for the Democratic nomination. Obama has said he would be willing to meet with heads of state in places like Iran, Cuba and North Korea. Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton has argued that those meetings could be used for propaganda and her first response would be outreach through diplomatic channels.
By criticizing Bush, Obama sent a signal that he's ready to take on the sitting president and the incumbent partyand tried to counter the notion that Clinton would be the stronger Democratic general election candidate. Democrats also are working to link the unpopular Bush to McCain at every turn as the public craves change, and even if it wasn't directed at Obama, Bush's remark gave Democrats an opening to claim more of the same.
"It is time to turn the page on eight years of policies that have strengthened Iran and failed to secure America or our ally Israel," Obama said in his statement. "Instead of tough talk and no action, we need to do what (Presidents) Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan did and use all elements of American powerincluding tough, principled, and direct diplomacyto pressure countries like Iran and Syria."
For their part, McCain and Republicans increasingly see Obama as their November rival and have been taking every opportunity to raise questions about his readiness to be a wartime commander in chief. The GOP also hopes to make national securityhistorically a Republican strengtha focus of the campaign when the political terrain favors Democrats.
Indicating what's to come, McCain said: "Peace through strength is the way we achieve peace in the world. That's the point. I will debate this issue with Senator Obama throughout this campaign."
Truth hurts, doesn’t it, Barry?
Yeah, and your party has world class experts in the art of "appalling attacks that divide." Ya moron.
Of course this has nothing to do with the desperate democrat/media desire to take the spotlight off their disasterous primary race.
And like Rev. Wright doesn't? Grow up Barry.
“Appalling attack” is exactly the kind of rhetorical over-kill that muzzies use about all their imagined slights.
Very revealing, eh?
Methinks the lady doth protest too much showing that the sting in any rebuke is the truth!
*had to combine two fave quotes :)
Obama is a schmuck.
Obama - Jimmy Carter now in Technicolor!
“Appalling attack” is exactly the kind of rhetorical over-kill that muzzies use about all their imagined slights.
Very revealing, eh?
Grow up, Obama. If you’re not big enough to take criticism, you’re not qualified for public office.
You’re not a unifier, you’re a divider and you hate being exposed for the charlatan you are.
Barry! Barry!.....It’s gett’in hairy and you can’t handle it! HA! HA!....
Barry is upset that Bush is alienating his muslim family. What a mess we are in.
Barack “Butthurt” Hussein Obama.
Bush did not attack Obama by name, but apparently Obama believes that his own views are very similar to those which the President did attack.
To paraphrase Duke Leto Atriedes, Bush has diplayed an off-the-rack suit, and some are claiming it was custom fit for them!
This is too easy. Makes its own TV commercials. Show Barry in one of the earlier debates saying that he would talk to terrorists and enemies of the state followed by President Bush and his speech yesterday. This is a real winner, suggesting for those in Rio Linda that Obama is a real loser.
Notice they didn’t challenge the truth of W’s statements on appeasement.
Hey, Barry...911 was an appalling attack, you idiot.
So if McCain’s “tough talk” to enemies is not right, but talking to our enemies is essential, then that leaves what kind of talk Barry wants to do with our adversaries ?
Would that be soft and fluffy talk ?
Put some ice on it.
A litle thin skinned that Obama. What would he do if the MSM bad-mouthed him on a daily basis. President Bush didn’t even mention his name or party affilliation. Obama has got serious issues and so do his followers.
Barack is sounding more and more like that other neighborhood organizer, Al Sharpton. He pretends to bring us harmony, yet he really brings us acrimony.
I laughed at some of his comments. What a nancy boy.
My question to Obama is... what's wrong with that?
Black people must be so proud.........they now have their very own Alfred E. Neuman!
For a uniter he sure seems divisive!
This idiot is the most disrespectful a$$hole I have ever seen. He talks about the current President in a way no candidate ever has. My blood was boiling after hearing his comments today. Past candidates never conducted themselves like this foolish jerk.
Obama is dangerous!
Hussein is the muslim, marxist appeaser in chief. May he never darken the door of the White House in any capacity.
“Obama claimed that “Hamas is in charge of Gaza because of the failed policies of President Bush, insisting that people elect their leaders in fair and democratic elections.”
My question to Obama is... what’s wrong with that?”
Exactly, so now we’re against democracy? The election Hamas just confirms the true wishes of the Palestinian people...destruction of Israel.
Not surprising idiot Obama didn’t pick up on that.
Even if G.W. was referring to Obama,we ALL know that DemonRats would NEVER stoop so low as to bad-mouth a sitting POTUS(let alone The United States of America)whilst overseas.........don’t we??????????????????
The President of the KOS kiddies strikes again. The media will certainly agree with these terrible statements suggesting appeasement of dictators and terrorrists as an "appalling attack"
Neville Chamberlain and Madeleine Albright thought so as well.......
Exactly. Obama (and the rest of the Democrats) automatically assumed that President Bush was talking about him. Go figure. There is only one way they could have drawn that conclusion.
btw, this same issue came up two years ago when Donald Rumsfeld used that exact same quote in a speech. Interestingly enough, Democrats automatically assumed Rumsfeld was talking about Harry Reid back then. Oh well.
And THEN Some!!!
What's he going to do if we get attacked like we did on Sept. 11th?
Hilarious to see all these squealing weasels self-labelling as “appeasers”......
We didn’t know President Bush’s remark referred specifically to YOU, Mr. Obambi, until you made it so clear.....
As for all the usual Demagogue b.s. about what is “divisive”..... well the scumbags who have been launching some of the most vicious domestic wartime attacks ever seen on a sitting US President should not be complaining about anyone else as “divisive”
The most shocking thing in that article is that McClame didn’t blast GW and conservatives in defense of BHO...
B. Hussein, please tell the families of the 9-11 victims, 92 WTC attack, embassy attack and the USS Cole that it is nothing but fear mongering.
If B. Hussein somehow gets elected, the only question will be, WHERE the next attack will occur. This Muslim is dangerous.
I nticed that fact,I just hope a lot of his”supporters”did as well!
Obama the great flap queller communicator.
Obama ridiculed McCain's idea of victory in Iraq by calling it a “civil war” (Someone needs to update his list of Democratic Talking points)
Obama also argued we were less safe- Al Qaeda’s leadership has been strengthened; because we focused(’took our eye off the ball” on Iraq. At last count hasn't between 80-90% of Al Qaeda leadership been killed or captured?
The overarching mega lie is the notion that preventing another major attack on US soil for 7 years, was not a significant achievement. How exactly is Obama intending to improve on that record.
The accompanying mega lie is gentler, more humane, more understanding, more popular in Europe policy is going to be more effective in protecting us from additional attacks.
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