McCain Attacks Obama's Foreign Policy


From CBS News' John Bentley:

Calling Barack Obama naïve and inexperienced, John McCain sharpened the Republican criticism that President Bush alluded to earlier today. "Why does Barack Obama want to sit down with a state sponsor of terrorism?" McCain asked today, referring to Obama's willingness to negotiate with Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. "What does he want to talk about with Ahmadinejad, who said that Israel is a stinking corpse, who said that he wants to wipe Israel off the map, who is sending the most explosive devices into Iraq, killing Americans."

While not mentioning Obama directly, Bush had harsh words for those who would negotiate with rogue states. "Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along," the president said at a celebration of Israel's 60th anniversary. "We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

McCain did not call Obama an appeaser, either, but did say he believed Obama needed to further explain his views. "I think Barack Obama needs to sit down and explain why he wants to talk with the man who is the head of a government that is a state sponsor of terror," McCain said. "I will make this issue with Sen. Obama throughout this campaign, I believe in peace through strength and peace through strength is the way that we have succeeded in the past."

Obama called Bush's statements a "false political attack." "Instead of tough talk and no action, we need to do what Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan did and use all elements of American power - including tough, principled, and direct diplomacy - to pressure countries like Iran and Syria," Obama said. "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."