The Corner


From McCain campaign:

  All: Today, Jamie Rubin made a charge against John McCain. Every one of your news organizations put him on the air and covered his charges that John McCain flip-flopped on engagement with Hamas. Now we know that Jamie Rubin didn’t tell the truth.As the entire video — just posted on SkyNews — clearly shows, John McCain absolutely did not advocate unconditional engagement with Hamas. Indeed, Rubin conveniently cut off his follow-up question to which McCain was clear that any engagement with Hamas would be conditioned on their actions and policies — that any actions would be “dictated by how Hamas acts, not how the United States acts…


Jamie Rubin: “Do you think that American diplomats should be operating the way they have been in the past, in working with the Palestinian government if Hamas is in now charge?”Sen. John McCain: “They’re the government and sooner or later we‘re going to have to deal with them in one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas is because of their dedication to violence and the things they not only espouse but practice, so, but it’s a new reality in the Middle East. And I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and a decent future then they want democracy.  Fatah was not giving them that.”Rubin: “So should the United States be dealing with that new reality through normal diplomatic contacts to get the job done for the United States?” Sen. McCain: “I think the United States should take a step back, see what they do when they form their government, see what their policies are, and see the ways that we can engage with them, and if there aren’t any, there may be a hiatus. But I think part of the relationship is going to be dictated by how Hamas acts, not how the United States acts.”

Note this matches up with Sen. McCain’s CNN interview that same day in Davos, in which McCain conditions any engagement on Hamas renouncing its commitment to the extinction of Israel:

From Davos, John McCain Says Hamas Must Renounce Its Commitment To The Extinction Of The State Of Israel. CNN’S BETTY NGUYEN: ” All right, let’s shift over to the global front. The Bush administration is reviewing all aspects of U.S. aid to the Palestinians now that Hamas has won the elections. And I do have to quote you here. A State Department spokesman did say this: ‘To be very clear’ – and I’m quoting now – ‘we do not provide money to terrorist organizations.’ What does this do to the U.S. relationship with the Palestinians?” MCCAIN: “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.” (CNN’s “Saturday Morning News,” 1/28/06)



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