Update: Miam Herald in Florida is reporting Obama’s remarks. Cubans there might be influenced by this since they hate Castro. The story quotes Jeffrey Toobin of CNN, “Obama looked inexperienced and naive. . .It was a very big win for (Clinton) on that question.”
The Obama campaign is trying slander to cover up his blunder.
Our Hillary has responded, “I thought that was irresponsible and frankly naive,”
Here’s the background:
In separate interviews with the Quad-City Times today, Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama tangled over Obama’s statement at the YouTube debate Monday that he would be willing to meet in the first year of his presidency with the leaders of countries antagonistic to the United States.
Clinton called Obama’s comments “irresponsible” and “naive.”
Obama countered by accusing the Clinton campaign of hatching a “fabricated controversy” and suggested that her position put her on the same track as the Bush administration.
The fact is Obama agreed to these types of meetings “without precondition”. Hillary knew that was irresponsible and at least naive if not dangerously incompetent.
The controversy springs from a question at the YouTube debate asking whether Obama would be willing to meet, without precondition, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea.
The Hillary campaign responds:
Her campaign later circulated a memo to reporters saying it was a “mistake” to commit to presidential-level meetings without precondition “with some of the world’s worst dictators” and portrayed her remarks as showing her depth of experience.
Obama launched his desperate attempt to run away from his blunder of last night very early this morning:
Obama’s campaign, early in the day, circulated a memo saying that Clinton’s YouTube position is actually a reversal from what she said in April, when, according to the Associated Press, she said it would be a “terrible mistake for our president to say he will not talk with bad people.”
Obama is siding with right wing egg lover Drudgereport. Politico agrees with Hillary:
Taegan Goddard calls it a “flip-flop,” and Drudge suggests the same, of Hillary’s attacking (and she went at him hard in the Quad City Times) Obama as “naive” for apparently promising he’d meet dictators when she said she would “begin diplomatic discussions” with the same countries.
I don’t get the criticism. The question seemed to be about a personal meeting with the President — you can see it above. That’s how Clinton, Edwards, and most of the people I talked to seemed to take it. Obama’s staff says he took it differently.
But the flip-flop claim equates “diplomatic discussions” with a face-to-face meeting, which doesn’t make any sense.
TPM (maintaining neutrality) also sides with Hillary:
The story of the day in Democratic politics is the skirmishing that’s going on between the Hillary and Obama campaigns right now over the meaning of Obama’s claim last night that he’d meet with leaders of rogue nations like Iran or North Korea.
Amid the battle, MSM assignment editor Matt Drudge is instructing the big news orgs to report that Hillary has been caught in a massive, glaring flip-flop:
This wouldn’t be a big deal if the big news orgs weren’t already picking up on this meme.
Tim Russert, for instance, grilled Hillary spokesperson Howard Wolfson over this alleged contradiction on MSNBC this morning. (It’s unclear whether Russert got this from Drudge or from the Obama campaign, which is also pushing the contradiction.)
But look, if you actually click through to the stories Drudge is directing people to, there’s just no contradiction here.
Last night, Obama said that during his first year as President he’d be willing to meet, without precondition, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea.
Hillary disagreed with Obama, saying that committing to such meetings could be used for propaganda purposes.
“Certainly, we’re not going to just have our president meet with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and you know, the president of North Korea, Iran and Syria, until we know better what the way forward would be,” Hillary said last night.
This is supposed to be at odds with this story from April, in which Hillary said:
“I would begin diplomatic discussions with those countries with whom we have differences, to try to figure out what is the depth of those differences…I think it is a terrible mistake for our president to say he will not talk with bad people.”
But look, again, these aren’t contradictory. Hillary didn’t say last night that her point of disagreement with Obama was over whether to negotiate with leaders of rogue nations at all. Rather, her point was that while she’d favor diplomatic negotiations with such leaders, she wouldn’t commit beforehand to meeting with them in her first year, because such a commitment could be used for “propaganda purposes” by said leaders.
Look, whichever side you take here — and whether you approve or disapprove of the Hillary campaign’s use of this difference as a club to beat Obama with — it’s obvious that this alleged gotcha contradiction between what Hillary’s July and April comments just isn’t there.
Bottom line is that Obama agreed to meet in the first 12 months, without precondition, with leaders of countries that wish us ill. He abandoned all preparation and certainly the upper hand to our opponents if they sought a meeting. Dictators could say ‘you said you would meet with us without precondition’.
Hillary has experience and understands the traps that could be laid in these types of meetings. An American president’s visit or meeting could be valuable propaganda to a dictator.
Hillary knows what she is doing. Obama is running with slander from his blunder.