In his Op-ed Friday in the Washington Post, former Clinton administration official (and current husband of CNN’s Christiane Amanpour) James Rubin castigated presumptive Republican nominee John McCain for his hypocrisy in pointing out that his likely fall rival for the White House, Barack Obama, received the endorsement of a Hamas official while back in 2006, McCain had said that sooner or later, the United States was going to have to “deal with” the Palestinian terrorist organization.
Rubin contends McCain’s words meant that the Arizona Senator was “ready to do business with a Hamas-led government,” that the Republican wanted to work with terrorists. But, as Jim Geraghty reminded us on Friday “‘Deal with them’ could easily mean undermine or work around.”
So, in order to see what McCain meant by “deal with,” we need to look at his remarks in context to see what exactly he means. Rubin contends here was “no conditionality” in the Senator’s responses. His words notwithstanding, a review of the record shows there was considerable conditionality in his comments.
First, as I noted in my previous post on the topic, McCain said the relationship between our nation and Hamas would be dictated in part “by how Hamas acts, not how the United States acts.â€ After finishing that post and finding even more of the Senator’s comments that day on line, I learned he had also said “It’s very, very important though that they [Hamas] renounce this commitment to [this extinction of state of Israel].”
Even as the context clearly shows how wrong Rubin was to accuse the presumptive Republican nominee of hypocrisy, he goes on the air faulting McCain for having the “nerve so say that Obama was the preferred candidate of Hamas.” Um, Jamie, a Hamas official said that very thing.
But, I guess facts don’t matter to a Democrat when you’re attacking a Republican. McCain made clear in the statements cited above as well as in other states contemporaneous to the Rubin interview his belief that “Hamas must change itself fundamentally – renounce violence, abandon its goal of eradicating Israel and accept the two-state solution.” Sounds like some pretty big conditions to me. And Democrats keep trying to spin this as some kind of McCain flip-flop. Amazing.
They’re grasping at straws in their attempts to smear John McCain. This would be laughable if the MSM did not play such misrepresentations as news. We’re waiting for the Washington Post to apologize for running the Rubin Op-Ed or at least to offer similar space to a columnist who will do what that Democrat didn’t do and put the Senator’s remarks in context, to show the conditionality that hat Democrat refused to look for.
Or maybe CNN’s Lou Dobbs who found the complete context substantiated the McCain campaign’s criticism of Rubin, should talk to his colleague Amanpour about her husband’s reckless disregard for the truth.
UPDATE: Make sure to check out the video of James Rubin on FoxNews, almost every attack he offered was spin without backing in the actual words of the Republicans he faults. He claims McCain was “open to dealing with Hamas.” Yeah, but only if Hamas met certain conditions that it would not meet. Amazing. He’s just looking for a chance to attack. If he were a Republican leveling such accusations against a Democrat, not even Sean Hannity would take him seriously.