Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is accusing President Bush of launching a "false political attack" against him.
The President is visiting Israel as the Jewish state celebrates its 60th anniversary. And he made a comment about appeasing dictators during a speech today at the Israeli Knesset.
"Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along," President Bush said.
Watch for CBN News Reporter David Brody's analysis of the fallout from Bush's remarks, following this report.
"We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is - the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."
The President said that kind of thinking leads nations to give in to the demands of dictators.
Senator Obama interpreted that as a slam against his belief that the U.S. should negotiate with Iran.
But the President did not mention Obama by name in the speech.
And the White House is saying Senator Obama should not have claimed it as a personal attack, because it wasn't.
White House press secretary Dana Perino flatly rejected the idea that the Knesset remark was aimed in any way at Obama.
The remark is typical for Bush speeches. Gordon Johndroe, a national security spokesman for the president, said the president was referring to "a wide range of people who have talked to or suggested we talk to Hamas, Hezbollah or their state sponsors" over a long period of time.
One such person most recently was former President Carter, who held talks with Hamas leaders, prompting criticism from Bush officials.
Even though the White House said the remark was not aimed at Obama, Perino added, "I understand that when you are running for office sometimes you think the world revolves around you. That is not always true, and it is not true in this case."
Source: The Associated Press