Obama Fires Back at "Terrorists" Remarks

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Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is criticizing both Republican John McCain and President Bush for comments he says hint he would try to appease terrorists.

In a speech to Israelis Thursday, the President said it is wrong to negotiate with "terrorists and radicals," saying that only leads to appeasement.

Obama interpreted those comments as a slam against him, because he has said the U.S. should negotiate with the radical Muslim regime in Iran.

"That's the kind of hypocrisy that we've been seeing in our foreign policy, the kind of fear-peddling, fear mongering that has prevented us from actually making us safer," Obama told a town hall meeting in South Dakota, Friday.

The White House says President Bush was not referring to anyone in specific, pointing out that many politicians have pushed for negotiations with radical regimes over the years.

On Thursday, McCain also suggested that Obama was naive and inexperienced for expressing a willingness to meet with rogue leaders like Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Democrats were quick to accuse the Republican candidate of hypocrisy, saying the he has been willing in the past to negotiate with the terrorist Palestinian group Hamas.

A former Clinton official wrote today in The Washington Post that McCain once said Hamas would have to be dealt with, "one way or another."

James Rubin, former Clinton State Department official, accused McCain of "smearing" the Democratic presidential front-runner.

In Charleston, W.Va., McCain shot back at his detractors.

"I made it very clear, at that time, before and after, that we will not negotiate with terrorist organizations, that Hamas would have to abandon their terrorism, their advocacy to the extermination of the state of Israel" he said.

McCain contended that Obama wants to "sit down and negotiate with a government exporting most lethal devices used against soldiers."

"He wants to sit down face to face with a government that is very clear about developing nuclear weapons," he said "They are sponsors of terrorist organizations. That's a huge difference in my opinion. And I'll let the American people decide whether that's a significant difference or not. I believe it is."

Source:  The Associated Press

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