Cameron said McCain "suggested Obama is naïve" for Iran stance, but didn't note that Gates also reportedly said the U.S. should "talk with" Iran

››› ››› RAPHAEL SCHWEBER-KOREN

Fox News' Carl Cameron reported that Sen. John McCain "suggested [Sen. Barack] Obama is naïve" for his position on negotiating with Iran, and aired a clip of McCain saying, "It could very well convince him [Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] that those policies are succeeding in strengthening his hold on power, and embolden him to continue his very dangerous behavior. The next president ought to understand such basic realities of international relations." But Cameron did not note that Defense Secretary Robert Gates also reportedly has said that the United States should "sit down and talk with" Iran.

On the May 19 edition of Fox News' Special Report, chief political correspondent Carl Cameron reported that Sen. John McCain "ripped into [Sen. Barack] Obama for suggesting that because the U.S. negotiated with the Soviets during the Cold War, talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are logical now." Later in his report, Cameron stated that McCain "suggested Obama is naïve" for believing that negotiations with Iran could lead to "change from Iran" and aired a clip of McCain saying, "It could very well convince him [Ahmadinejad] that those policies are succeeding in strengthening his hold on power, and embolden him to continue his very dangerous behavior. The next president ought to understand such basic realities of international relations." Cameron later asserted that "[b]oth campaigns think they gained from a battle over Iran policy. ... McCain thinks it helps him with independent voters and security-minded Democrats who refuse to believe any president should meet with any leader who said the kind of outrageous, hateful, and violent things the Iranian president has about the U.S. and its allies." However, despite stating that McCain thinks Obama's position is "naïve," Cameron did not note that Defense Secretary Robert Gates also reportedly has said that the United States should "sit down and talk with" Iran.

As Media Matters for America has noted, according to a May 15 Washington Post article, Gates said of Iran, "We need to figure out a way to develop some leverage ... and then sit down and talk with them. ... If there is going to be a discussion, then they need something, too. We can't go to a discussion and be completely the demander, with them not feeling that they need anything from us."

From the May 19 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:

HUME: Welcome to Washington. I'm Brit Hume. Republican presidential candidate John McCain renewed his fight with Barack Obama today over Obama's assertion that the U.S. should hold presidential-level talks with Iran. McCain says America needs a president who understands the potentially negative consequences of such a thing. Chief political correspondent Carl Cameron reports.

[begin video clip]

CAMERON: Republican presidential candidate John McCain, speaking to the National Restaurant Association in Barack Obama's hometown of Chicago, ripped into Obama for suggesting that because the U.S. negotiated with the Soviets during the Cold War, talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are logical now.

McCAIN: Such a statement betrays the depth of Senator Obama's inexperience and reckless judgment. These are very serious deficiencies for an American president to possess.

CAMERON: Obama, during a speech Sunday night in Oregon, argued that because the U.S. engaged directly with the Soviets during the Cold War, talks with adversaries like Iran make sense now.

OBAMA: Iran, Cuba, Venezuela: These countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don't pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us.

CAMERON: But unlike Iran, Soviet communism did not support radical groups which sent suicide bombers or gunmen who see self-destruction in the name of Allah as a route to paradise. McCain warned that nuclear weapons in the hands of Iranian extremists could be a doomsday nightmare.

McCAIN: The biggest national security challenge the United States currently faces is keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists. Should Iran acquire nuclear weapons, that danger would become very dire, indeed.

CAMERON: Obama argues that because the U.S. is militarily superior, it can negotiate with Iran from a position of strength.

OBAMA: You know, Iran, they spend one one-hundredth of what we spend on the military. I mean, if Iran ever tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn't stand a chance.

CAMERON: But peace through strength in McCain's view means bringing about change from Iran before negotiations, not afterward. He again suggested Obama is naïve and that Iranian President Ahmadinejad has no intention of backing down.

McCAIN: It could very well convince him that those policies are succeeding in strengthening his hold on power, and embolden him to continue his very dangerous behavior. The next president ought to understand such basic realities of international relations.

CAMERON: In Billings, Montana, today, Obama acknowledged that Iran is a threat but blamed the president and McCain.

OBAMA: The reason Iran is so much more powerful now than it was a few years ago is because of the Bush-McCain policy of fighting an endless war in Iraq and refusing to pursue direct diplomacy with Iran. They're the ones who have not dealt with Iran wisely.

[end video clip]

CAMERON: Both campaigns think they gained from a battle over Iran policy. Obama sees a chance to tie McCain to President Bush and his unpopularity. McCain thinks it helps him with independent voters and security-minded Democrats who refuse to believe any president should meet with any leader who said the kind of outrageous, hateful, and violent things the Iranian president has about the U.S. and its allies. In Washington, Carl Cameron, Fox News.

Posted In
Elections, National Security & Foreign Policy
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Carl Cameron
Show/Publication
Special Report with Brit Hume
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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