Did he or didn’t he? Ever since the firestorm that erupted with the President’s speech in Jerusalem Obama’s camp has been running around saying that the candidate said he would meet with tyrants, but he never said that he would meet without pre-conditions. Well as you can see by the video above that was a lie. Today the Senator was on ABC World news and Fessed up that he did say no pre-conditions, a transcript of his interview follows
See transcript below of my interview today with Sen. Barack Obama. Tune into WORLD NEWS WITH CHARLES GIBSON tonight to see the full report.
JAKE TAPPER: What is your reaction to the news that Sen. Kennedy has a brain tumor?
BARACK OBAMA: Well, it’s heartbreaking. Ted Kennedy is not only a giant of the Senate but he’s a good friend. You couldn’t have a better supporter than Ted Kennedy. And I had spoken to him just a couple of days ago, right after the seizure and had been staying in touch with Vicki. We were a little more optimistic at that point. Obviously the news came in today and it’s a lot worse, but he’s a fighter. He’s been fighting on behalf of working families all his life, (he’s been working for) civil rights for people who don’t have a voice in Washington. It’s a testament to how beloved he is that you are seeing well wishers from across the aisle from everyone in political life and Massachusetts. I hope he will be O.K. and I will do everything I can to make sure his family has support at this difficult time.
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TAPPER: The statement from the hospital made no mention of surgery, which may indicate doctors don’t hold out much hope that would be a successful course of action. What’s your understanding of the treatment he will pursue?
OBAMA: I’ll leave that to the doctors to talk about but obviously it’s a serious situation. Vicki and the rest of the family are going to need a lot of support at this time. Ted Kennedy has supported so many people, including me, through the years, we have to be there for him during this difficult time.
TAPPER: Sen. McCain today criticized you for flip-flopping on whether the embargo against Cuba should be lifted and criticized your willingness to sit down with raoul castro as naïve. Your response?
OBAMA: This is a typical approach of John McCain and that is to distort my record and embrace George Bush’s record. The fact is, eight years go John McCain suggested maybe we should lift the embargo and since that time nothing’s change. We don’t see more freedom for the people of Cuba but John McCain is embracing the same no talk, hard line attitude that has led to no progress and no improved conditions of the Cuban people for 50 years. Let’s be very clear about what I’ve said. We should look at loosening up remitances and travel restrictions for Cuban Americans so they can travel to the island, be with their families, and send money there as a gesture of good faith as Fidel Castro is transitioning. I also think we should open direct talks with Cubans without any preconditions but with a whole lot of preparation. Unless they release political prisoners, start instituting free press, and other steps to democratize the island, we won’t lift the embargo. But we are looking to normalize the situation. That’s common sense. That’s the new approach to foreign policy that is needed because the last eight years won’t work for the next president and John McCain keeps embracing policies that don’t work and that is part of what this election will be all about.
TAPPER: You’re likely to be the Democratic nominee but you will also likely lose Kentucky overwhelmingly tonight, and one of the reasons for the likely loss is what’s been evident in previous primaries — Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia — your message is not resonating with white working class voters. Do you acknowledge that this is a problem and how do you intend on remedying that for the general election?
OBAMA: I really think that has been overstated. It hasn’t been a problem in Virginia or a problem in Iowa or a problem in Minnesota. In fact, in Indiana we did almost as well as Sen. Clinton in many of these areas and that fact is, when you look at recent polls coming out of Pennslyvania, where this was supposed to be an enormous problem, I’m up significantly over John McCain. Sen. Clinton is a formidable candidate. It shouldn’t be surprising there are a number of voters who would like to see her as a nominee. That doesn’t mean they won’t support us in a general election anymore than it meant they get a large proportion of African American voters that African Americans wouldn’t vote for Sen. Clinton if she ended up being the nominee. TAPPER: Do you agree with Sen. Clinton’s complaint that she has been the victim of a sexist media in this campaign? OBAMA: No doubt there are certain burdens for Sen. Clinton running as a formidable but first time frontrunner as a woman in the same way I’ve got to deal with some issues as an African American. Ultimately, I think the American people are fair minded and for those who would not vote either for myself or Sen. Clinton because of gender or race there are those who are excited about the prospects of the first woman or African American (nominee). There is no doubt there have been occassions where Sen. Clinton has had to overcome particular hurdles and that is part of the groundbreaking nature of her campaign.
TAPPER: In recent days, it has seemed that some of your staffers and supporters have walked back from your statement that you would be willing to meet with the leaders of rogue nations, countries hostile to the U.S., without preconditions. Your foreign policy adviser Susan Rice said you wouldn’t necessarily meet with Ahmadinejad, Sen. Daschle said of course there would be conditions — (Obama interrupts)
OBAMA: You know, Jake, I have to say I completely disagree that people have been walking back from anything. They may be correcting the characterizations or distortions of John McCain or others of what I said. What I said was I would meet with our adversaries including Iran, including Venezula, including Cuba, including North Korea, without preconditions but that does not mean without preparation. TAPPER: Well, what’s the difference? OBAMA: There’s a huge difference. When you talk about Iran, for example, the Bush administration’s position has been we won’t have talks with Iran until they agree to everything we want to them to agree to. That’s not diplomacy. That’s asking them to do what they say and then acknowledge we are willing to meet with them. That’s not how diplomacy works. That’s not how Ronald Reagan operated with Gorbachev or Kennedy with Khruschev or Nixon with Mao. There are a whole seris of steps that need to be taken before you have a presidential meeting but that doesn’t mean you expect the other side to agree to every item on your list. That has been the attitude of the Bush administration and that will change when I’m President of the United States. What we are doing now hasn’t worked. Iran is stronger now than when George Bush took office. The Cuban people are no more free than when George Bush took office. The one area we saw progress, North Korea, and that is in direct proportion to the Bush administration’s reversing itself and participating in the six-party talks when early on they refused and (North Korea) developed nuclear weapons they didn’t have when George Bush took office. We will return to common sense, bipartisan approach to diplomacy that existed before George Bush. In fact, his father practiced the same diplomacy I’m talking about. When you get a chance go over to Global Politician and read The Jews’ Stupidest Pro-Obama Argument
……and if you have already read that one you will find some of these other great articles there, including:
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Colonel Charbel Barakat – 5/21/2008
“It was a forlorn day when the Lebanese agreed, albeit under duress, to the ‘Taef Accord”. It necessitated dismantling and disarming the militias in 1990. Syria, which at the time was occupying Lebanon, kept and retained Hezbollah, the one terrorizing Lebanon today, as the sole armed militia under the slogan of “fighting Israel”. Naqba and the Muslims’ Belief in Islam
Prof. John Press – 5/21/2008
I recently attended a counter protest to a Naqba rally near the U.N. building in New York. Naqba means “Palestinian Catastrophe” and refers to the creation of Israel. Apparently, other Muslim nations also considered the creation of Israel a disaster. All of Israel’s Muslim neighbors attacked Israel on its birthday. They lost. Israel exists. But I did not attend the counter demonstration because I think it obvious that Israel is right and the Palestinians are wrong. Culturism accepts the possibility that the Palestinians believe they are right. Muslims believe the Koran represents perfect morality. The Palestinians’ Self-Made Naqba
Prof. Barry Rubin – 5/21/2008
It’s become fashionable to match celebration of Israel ’s founding (though part of the media can’t even admit Israelis are celebrating) with Palestinian marking of their 1948 “nakba” catastrophe. Yet whose fault is it that they didn’t use those six decades constructively? And who killed the independent Palestinian state alongside Israel that was part of the partition plan? Answer: The Arab states and Palestinian leadership themselves.