What John Mccain Actually Said

by James Kirchick | May 16, 2008

Josh wrote earlier about Jamie Rubin's Washington Post op-ed today alleging John McCain's "Hypocrisy on Hamas" (bigger news, I think, is that a ruthless Clinton hack like Rubin is now going to the barricades for Obama). Both Josh and Rubin take McCain's assertion that "sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them" as evidence that McCain has "flip-flopped' on the question of negotiations with Hamas. Not only is that pretty thin gruel, it also ignores what McCain has been saying all along. Here's a video of another interview McCain gave that same exact day:

"Well, hopefully, that Hamas now that they are going to govern, will be motivated to renounce this commitment to the extinction of the state of Israel. Then we can do business again, we can resume aid, we can resume the peace process. It’s very, very important though that they renounce this commitment.”

McCain's position was the same then as it was now: when Hamas renounces terrorism and recognizies the legitimacy of the state of Israel, then "we can do business again." Josh writes, "Here's hoping someone in the intrepid press corps will ask McCain to explain what he meant back then, and why he's apparently changed his tune." This wasn't particularly intrepid on my part, but I think this puts the issue to rest.  

--James Kirchick

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/the-plank/what-john-mccain-actually-said