Monday, November 3, 2008

Statement on Barack Obama Hedging on Foreign Policy

Today, U.S. Senator John McCain issued the following statement concerning Barack Obama's hedging on foreign policy and Iran:

"Earlier today, when asked about efforts to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, Senator Obama said he might apply tougher sanctions -- 'potentially.' I have called for tougher sanctions against Iran for years. I have supported tougher sanctions during this campaign that Barack Obama opposed, and if elected, I would work to lead an international effort to put tougher sanctions in place -- not potentially but actually. Senator Obama last year opposed legislation with broad bipartisan support that called for tougher sanctions on Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for its terrorist activities. Senator Obama was also asked today about capturing Osama bin Laden -- he said he would 'try him, apply the death penalty to him where it is necessary.' I do not know why Senator Obama would have any doubt that it is necessary. There is no one more deserving of execution than Osama bin Laden. If he survives capture, the death penalty would be necessar y, just and appropriate. Senator Obama continues to hedge his bets on national security issues showing his inexperience and weakness. Senator Obama's comments demonstrate once again that America cannot afford untested leadership when facing the threats posed by Iran and Osama bin Laden."


Barack Obama
CNN's "Situation Room"
October 31, 2008

CNN'S WOLF BLITZER: Senator McCain says he knows how to capture Bin Laden and he says I'll get him, if he's elected president. Do you know how to capture Bin Laden?

BARACK OBAMA: I'm reminded of -- he said this during the debate. I think that night, maybe, Jon Stewart on Comedy Central said, you know, why have you been holding out on us over the last six years? The fact is, along with George Bush, John McCain championed the strategy that distracted us from capturing Bin Laden that focused on Iraq that had nothing to do with 9/11.

And so clearly, Senator McCain doesn't know how to capture Bin Laden because he was supportive of a huge strategic blunder when it came to accomplishing the task. I will focus on what Secretary Gates and others have indicated is our number one security threat, and that is Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. We will go after him. We will kill him or capture him, try him, apply the death penalty to him where it is necessary. That's the threat we should have stayed focused on. That's the threat I will focus on when I'm president.

BLITZER: Senator McCain says that if he's elected president, Iran will not become a nuclear power. Can you make that same commitment?

OBAMA: Well, I've said I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. I think it would be a game-changer. It would not be acceptable. It would be a threat to our strongest ally in the region, Israel. But it would also potentially trigger a nuclear arms race in the region. And we have to both apply much tougher diplomacy and sanctions, potentially, if they do not move in a better direction. We have to give them some inducements to walk away from their nuclear program and we should never take a military option off the table.

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