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Candidate Reaction: Iranian President Ahmadinejad's Remarks

Updated 9:25 p.m.
Sen. Barack Obama condemned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks to the United Nations today in a statement released by the campaign.

Said Obama: "I strongly condemn President Ahmadinejad's outrageous remarks at the United Nations, and am disappointed that he had a platform to air his hateful and anti-Semitic views. The threat from Iran's nuclear program is grave. Now is the time for Americans to unite on behalf of the strong sanctions that are needed to increase pressure on the Iranian regime.

"Once again, I call upon Senator McCain to join me in supporting a bipartisan bill to increase pressure on the Iranian regime by allowing states and private companies to divest from companies doing business in Iran. The security of our ally Israel is too important to play partisan politics, and it is deeply disappointing that Senator McCain and a few of his allies in Congress feel otherwise."

The McCain campaign responded angrily with a statement condemning Obama rather than the Iranian president.

Said McCain-Palin spokesman Michael Goldfarb: "Barack Obama has the gall today to express 'disappointment' that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had 'a platform to air his hateful and anti-Semitic views.' It is Barack Obama who would give him the greatest platform of all, an unconditional summit with the President of the United States. Barack Obama's reckless determination to meet with a man who believes our Israeli friends are 'Zionist murderers' undermines our nation's allies and demonstrates a frightening lack of judgment."

"While Senator McCain and Governor Palin will work with our allies to contain and eliminate the threat from Iran, Barack Obama has pledged to meet with this country's most dangerous enemies, including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, without preconditions. The American people have a right to know precisely what additional concessions Barack Obama plans to make. What they don't need is a lecture on getting tough with Iran from the man who railed against bipartisan legislation labeling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization."

By Web Politics Editor  |  September 23, 2008; 8:48 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Primary Source  
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It appears that American politics has given up on the requirement to kiss babies, and now requires, instead, that candidates for high office kiss behinds of the favored (including the Israel lobby), and publicly insult the unfavored (at the head of which line we find the ever-useful Ahmadinejad).

Castro found vocal American official belligerence very useful in retaining power for half a century. Is it really necessary to offer Ahmadinejad the same assistance? There ARE moderates in Iran, but American officials carping and sniping at Ahmadinejad can't help the moderates; it can only undermine them.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | September 25, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

A world leader needs to be strong in condemnation of any rouge politician/state and also be prepared to engage those rouge leaders/states in dialogues for future solutions to persisting problems. Simply shutting yourself away and airing anti-views is certainly not the way to handle geopolitical affairs. Barack Obama's approach is absolutely right and mature.

Posted by: Anju Chandel | September 25, 2008 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Richard Holbrooke and Dennis B. Ross have no clear evidence that Iran is either developing nuclear weapons or that it has any desire to develop them. Iran has categorically denied that it is developing ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Iran is chronically short of electricity, with daily blackouts the norm, so it wants the nuclear power station at Bushehr to come on line as soon as possible (March 2009). Obama should not be fooled by neocon propaganda against Iran.

Posted by: James Canning | September 24, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what Rev. Wright has got to do with this election. He is not running -John McCain is, and running badly.

We can await the October suprise. McCain will not win in the debates, and so the smears will be enormous. McCain's negative ads have worked in the past; we can expect to be deluged with them incessantly

Posted by: mgrfin | September 24, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what Rev. Wright has got to do with this election. He is not running -John McCain is, and running badly.

We can await the October suprise. McCain will not win in the debates, and so the smears will be enormous. McCain's negative ads have worked in the past; we can expect to be deluged with them incessantly

Posted by: mgrfin | September 24, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Eight years of disaster and I can't believe there are still people who want more of the same. Those people need their heads examined.

Posted by: Hanna | September 24, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is dying to bomb the heck out the world. Doesn't matter who it is. Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Russia. Bring'em all on. McCranky will bomb first and ask questions later.

Posted by: Pupster | September 24, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone else seen the video of McCain at the KKK rally in Arizona? I hear it shows him in the robes of a senior klan leader (with hood in hand). I hear the video will be posted on YouTube next month.

Posted by: Nadeem Zakaria | September 24, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

More McCain lies....Can Republicans tell the truth anymore!?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 24, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

me say vot for hottie palling she was miss amreica an she got nice welding goggles and much experience she met with all world leaders today so no you have to vote for her or something bad will happen to you something real bad so vote for only canidate with beehive she got all experience inside there and is so much of a hottie mcaine will croak anyway so ignor him

Posted by: d miner | September 24, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I am a democrat and I am definitely not for McSame

Posted by: Anonymous | September 24, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

AsperGurl - You've convinced me. I will vote against Rev. Wright.


Posted by: Fairlington Blade | September 24, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Ok McCain old man, blame Obama for everything even after you lose on Nov 4. This is not the way to get respect. Shame on you.

Posted by: Bertin, Tampa, FL | September 24, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Ten of us are Democrats voting for McCain and when we posted to the CNN comment sections over the last two weeks every one of them was blocked. Kudo's to ABCNews and voices.washingtonpost who consistently passed the tests. Terrifying to see the censorship and manipulation resulting at CNN, MSNBC and MSM where headlines like these that don't accurately represent the concerns of moderates.

Posted by: Democrats for McCain | September 24, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

There is no inconsistency between criticizing Ahmadinejad and being willing to talk to him. Did Kennedy, in meeting with Kruschev, condone or endorse Soviet communism? Did Nixon do likewise when he met with Brezhnev and with Mao? The vapidness and intellectual dishonesty of McCain's campaign becomes more apparent every day.

Posted by: mnjam | September 24, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse


You must be an American journalist. You like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad better than George Bush.

If you think Ahmadinejad is such a saint, maybe you should just pack your stuff and go live in his country for a couple years, and see how you fare as an American.

You see, over there they don't care whether you are a liberal or a conservative. You are an evil American who needs to be destoryed, either way.

That's the truth that liberals just can't get their heads around...

Posted by: dbw | September 24, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

AsperGirl...grow up and get educated!

We have the financial markets and brink of collapse, the economy on a hole has lost ~600,000 jobs Year-to-date not including September, Russia's flexing its military muscle in Georgia and Venezuela, Iran enriching uranium, Iraqi provinicial elections collapsing and Afghanistan going to hell in a hand-basket, and your DUMBA$$ is still worried about what Rev. Wright said?!

We have got real problems in America you and your fellow conservative Republicans are playing games!


Obama/Biden in 08!

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | September 24, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Surprised to see nobody mention that the link to NYT in this entry is incorrect. The link goes to an article about Hamid Karzai and is not at all about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Posted by: peacay | September 24, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Know them by their deeds and not by their words. Although, in Obama's case both his deeds and words are duplicitous. He would sit down with the Iranian dictator without predconditions, oh, that is, until the polls show this would not win him Jewish votes. He could no longer disown Rev. Wright, oh, that is, until Rev. Wright calls Obama the consumate politician. He tells people who live in small towns how great they are, oh, until he meets behind closed doors with elite San Fran contributors and then he tells them that people who live in small towns are bitter and cling to religion and guns. He castigates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, oh, he then selects its former CEO to head a team to select a VP. --- He then fires the guy when it becomes politcally expedient. I believe that Rev. Wright had it right. Obama is a typical politician and will say anything that will further his ambitions. Unfortunately, the media is so far in the tank for him that the "real" Obama is not what we hear about. I recently sent an email to a Washington Post writer who had written 120 articles since January and not one of the articles was negative about Obama. Guess what. ---- All of them was, in one way or another, critical/negative about McCain/Palin.

Posted by: Joe M | September 24, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Why do the mccain/palin camp responses always come off sounding like a modified version of "I know you are but what am I?"

McCain rattles easily and shoots off his mouth - just like...GW.

Sad really

Posted by: Julianne | September 24, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

@Not a Pawn to ObamaCON!

So if I have a gay roomate does that mean after 540 days I will surely be gay and have the same views? According to your ideology I would. Grow up.

Posted by: JRS | September 24, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

While I am voting Obama, I have noticed how quickly CNN closes their comments. I do not think I have ever gotten one through. Very strange!

Posted by: CNN is not free speach! | September 24, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

>>"I strongly condemn President Ahmadinejad's outrageous remarks at the United Nations, and am disappointed that he had a platform to air his hateful and anti-Semitic views."

Like Obama sat for 20 years in Trinity Church while his preacher & mentor Rev. Jeremiah Wright used his pulpit "to air his hateful and anti-Semitic views"?

Rev. Wright publishes copy of Hamas terrorist manifesto in Church newsletter

Rev. Wright accuses America of making AIDS to kill Africans and Arabs

Rev. Wright damns America

Rev. Wright on why not vote for Hillary Clinton:

Top 20 Rev. Wright comments you never saw:

Rev. Wright blames America for 9/11

Rev. Wright radio rant against Zionists

Rev. Jeremiah Wright Q & A at the National Press Club
part 1:
part 2:
part 3:

Rev. Jeremiah Wright Speech at the National Press Club
part 1:
part 2:
part 3:

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 24, 2008 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Think his speech was quite good and gives us hope of peace and Dialogue. To bad the USA walked out again. Must have needed a burger. Like a bunch of kids. He did mention Jesus and all Gods??

Posted by: justada55+ | September 24, 2008 3:57 AM | Report abuse

Ten of us are Democrats voting for McCain and when we posted to the CNN comments over the last two weeks every one of them was blocked. Kudo's to ABCNews and voices.washingtonpost who consistently passed the tests. Terrifying to see the censorship resulting at CNN.

Posted by: No Freedom of Speech Against Obama | September 24, 2008 3:53 AM | Report abuse

In 2003, Warren Buffet warned of today's financial meltdown, calling it

WEAPONS OF MASS FINANCIAL DESTRUCTION. (Google it) He included research in the Berkshire 2002 Finanacial Report.

Derivatives are "a gambling casino empire that has taken over the world's largest banks." and In the United States alone, their total face value is more than $71 trillion, or over double the size of the great U.S. debt monster Including those held overseas, the grand total easily exceeds $100 trillion. And yet, VERY LITTLE IS KNOWN ABOUT THEM.

No wonder why there's no oversight. Take a look. Make up your own mind:

Posted by: Realist | September 24, 2008 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Nadeem Zakaria, you are a paid RNC troll and willing to spew lies no matter what the cost to the rest of us and the world for your own selfish gain. No one is listening to your hate except others who hate.

Posted by: john5750 | September 24, 2008 1:59 AM | Report abuse

The comments on here surprised me.

Obama makes a perfectly valid statement about the comments made in the UN, but because he said it first and asks McCain to join him in the condemnation, McCains team start attacking Obama. Obviously didnt want to be seen following.

2 points,
Since when has sitting down and talking to someone meant that you will promise and give them everything they want?
Surely thats better that just shouting to the wind? or as its better known, the McCain doctrine!

Secondly, does this mean that McCain doesn't condemn the comments as he didn't say he does? ;) Just teasing.

Posted by: jack | September 24, 2008 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Independent (yeah right),

According to Carly McCain isn't qualified to be CEO either.

Posted by: usa3 | September 24, 2008 1:56 AM | Report abuse

McCain's solution to dealing with Iran: Fire Chris Cox!

Posted by: usa3 | September 24, 2008 1:54 AM | Report abuse

I hope that Sen McCain tries that indignation tact with Senator Obama in the debates. Obama will use that indignation to show how John McCain is emotionally ill suited to be president.

Posted by: Sal E Mander | September 24, 2008 1:46 AM | Report abuse

why people are so stupid. Mc Cain cannot win one single war. he is just an old man yelling at the clouds. you vote for MC Cain, you vote for more failure.
Republ need to shut up with all the mess they created around the world.

Posted by: Ko | September 24, 2008 1:45 AM | Report abuse

no matter what ur view is on obama and mccain i thing we can all agree that ahmadenijad is no friend of the us!!!!!

Posted by: yona loriner | September 24, 2008 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Give me a break! Obama is either a schitzophrenic or is pandering for votes. This guys is like Cybil man! My vote goes to McCain.

Posted by: NOBAMA | September 24, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm not voting for this guy. The office of the presidency is no place for on the job training. Why would anyone give an intern the CEO's position?

Posted by: Independent | September 24, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Amen to McCain's criticism of Obama's comments. America cannot afford to let Obama win!

Posted by: James in Texas | September 24, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

I agree with McCain - Obama says anything - even if he disagrees, to get the votes he wants - McCain is a proven friend of Israel!

Posted by: Deboraqh | September 24, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Your post lost a little credibility when you interjected your personal opinion on the matter.
McCain 08

Posted by: Carol | September 24, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

I think it is a sad day when we have two people of this "caliber" to choose as our next president. What is happening right now is bi-partisan corporate greed thinly veiled through a cheesecloth of democracy. There is no firm understanding of the philosophical concepts of Liberty and Justice.We as the American working class can't be asleep at the wheel.So much we have worked for will now disappear into those same hands who irresponsibly cast the leveraged dice of people's securities on the table.I want to scream until I'm hoarse at the madness I live in and I as one person can't do anything.The disparity for us the average people is heartbreaking. The only thing I can hope for is that many of us will start locally by voting and changing our government in the way we the people see fit by choosing the best qualified person. NOT the person with your same ideologies, color, religion, or party. We need to vote into OUR government the people who will stabilize America and run OUR government properly and with integrity. We have to come together as taxpayers and citizens, not republicans or democrats, and show our force by removing those who oppose OUR best interest and aggressively seek those who will keep it first on their mind.

Posted by: Christopher McMahan, Cary NC | September 24, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

If Obama wins he will be able to work with his fellow Muslim leaders like Ahmadinejad.

Posted by: Nadeem Zakaria | September 24, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

"The McCain campaign responded angrily with a statement condemning Obama rather than the Iranian president."


I guess they must have insider information on who the real terrorist is!

Either that or the McCain campaign is staffed by a bunch of jackasses.


Posted by: el_barto | September 24, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Five x secretaries of States, Kissinger, Albright, Powell, Warren Christopher and James Baker, ALL Democrats AND Republicans have come out in favour of establishing diplomacy and dialog with Iran. Mr. Goldfarb seems like an unsophisticated idiot to suggest that Obama is going to get on Airforce One Right after the swearing-in and fly over and land in Ahmedinijad's backyard and start talking with him. McCain shoul fire Mr. Goldfarb. But Oops, Mc.Cain is also like Goldfarb!

Posted by: LA | September 23, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

I am much more concerned about Palin using the United Nations gathering as a photo op to bolster her non-existent foreign policy credentials. Need I remind you, Palin is NOT an elected representative of our government and is being USED by the McCain campaign to bolster their poor ratings. I would feel sorry for her if she weren't enjoying it so much...poor thing.

Posted by: Caroline McKee, Bend, OR | September 23, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Why does McCain blame senator Obamba for everything? I heard a few speeches by him on POTUS and all he did was repeat Obama's name and then some how blame him for pretty much everything wrong in the government. I admit Obama does take a well placed hits at McCain in his speeches, but the he moves on to substantive issues rather than McCain who intersperses his entire speeches with blame.

Listening and not liking it.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

So if we don't negotiate, what do we do? Invade?

Posted by: Bob | September 23, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Once again McHothead comes out with the more "rational" and "reasonable" response.

Posted by: mwilliams | September 23, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

DId you know that IRAN is bigger than England? Iran is bigger than France? Iran is Half the size of Russia, and 1/5 of the size of U.S.

Obamus is crazy!

He even admitted to attending 500+ Jeremiah Wright Sermons! Watch Part 3 of Bill O'Reilly's Obama Interview! You will hear Obama say he attended church "Twice a month..." with a shrug!

2 Sermons x 12 Months = 24 Sermons

24 Sermons a year x 20 years = 540 Sermons!

Posted by: Not a Pawn to ObamaCON! | September 23, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

since McCain has voted 90% with Geo. Bush why does he think, we have confidence, that he will do any different if he becomse preident?

Posted by: m m duncan | September 23, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

A vote for OBAMA i like a vote for Bill Clinton. I did not have relations with IRAN. Come on people wake up and smell the coffee and realize he is not the cup of tea you think he is. GOD BLESS AMERICA should he be our next president. We will need God with us every step of the way in life.

Posted by: John Misap | September 23, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Look at these pictures to see all the "good" Mr. Obama did for Chicago slums(I mean developer buddies) as "Community Organizer"....

"Grove Parc and several other prominent failures were developed and managed by Obama’s close friends and political supporters. Those people profited from the subsidies even as many of Obama’s constituents suffered. Tenants lost their homes; surrounding neighborhoods were blighted."

Hey, maybe he can do the SAME TO G*D D*MN AMERICA WHILE HE'S AT IT!!

Posted by: Keving | September 23, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

The McCain campaign shows it's utter incompetence at every turn and the way they respond is indicative of the type of administration they would oversee. His campaign is comprised of a bunch of corrupt, and hot-headed individuals. (see Schmidt, Schenumenn, Davis).

Posted by: David | September 23, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh shucks! I thought we could negotiate. Diplomacy first!

Come on Obama!

I just added 400 bops to Obama.

Team Obama can not get it together. He is about to hit 2,000,000.

Posted by: Oh Shucks! | September 23, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

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