In an Op-ed in yesterday’s Washington Post, former Clinton Administration official James P. Rubin accused presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain of hypocrisy. Gosh how Democrats like to trot out that term. Not just that. He also borrows from the Obama playbook in claiming that McCain has adopted “Nixon-style dirty campaign tactics.”
Amazing that a Clinton Administration official would accuse any one of dirty campaign tactics. It’s that ol’ pot calling the kettle black again.
Now, Rubin contends McCain had “no business smearing Barack Obama” for pointing out that a Hamas official endorsed Senator Obama’s White House bid. Which is a fact. Attempting to show the presumptive GOP nominee’s hypocrisy, Rubin cites his interview with McCain where the Arizona Senator said, “sooner or later we are going to have to deal with” Hamas. What Rubin left out from his initial Op-ed was McCain’s comment that “part of the relationship is going to be dictated by how Hamas acts, not how the United States acts.â€
In other words, the Arizona Senator was conditioning any relations with Hamas on the organization changing. As the campaign stated, “As the entire video â€” just posted on SkyNews â€” clearly shows, John McCain absolutely did not advocate unconditional engagement with Hamas.”
Even CNN picked up on this, with Lou Dobbs saying the complete transcript seemed to “substantiate precisely what Senator McCain is saying.”
Later in the day, quoting a more complete transcript, in a defensive piece on the Huffington Post, Rubin puffed on contending “there is no conditionality in any of his answers.” Um, Jamie, did you read what you quoted where McCain said the relationship depended on how Hamas acted?
Rubin concludes, “So I say to the McCain campaign, just admit the truth, either he made a mistake or he changed his mind, then let us return to debating the issues as Americans.” Well, Jamie, I say to you, just admit the truth that you pulled his comments out of context, then return to advocating for Democratic candidates without borrowing the tired allegations of Republican hypocrisy and dirty tricks.
Focus on their actual statements in context and don’t read your partisan bias into them.
UPDATE: Jim Geraghty has more where he points out that at the exact “same place, either a little before or a little after John McCain does his interview with . . . Rubin,” the Arizona Senator said:
â€œWell, 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.â€
Did you think it would be too much too ask for Rubin to admit he pulled the remarks out of context and apologize to Senator McCain?
Don’t bet on it. Clintonites only apologize for what the United States does, never for what they do when attacking Republicans. As Bill himself might have said, “You gotta do what you gotta do.”
UP-UPDATE: Jim has even more here.