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Gilmore sides with Bush, McCain on Iran

Item by Chris Graham
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U.S. Senate candidate Jim Gilmore is joining President Bush and Republican Party presidential nominee John McCain in criticisms of Democratic Party presidential frontrunner Barack Obama on Iran.

Gilmore, the frontrunner in the race to challenge Democrat Mark Warner in Virginia in November, said today that “Sen. Obama’s plans for presidential meetings with the leaders of Iran are a clear display of his naiveté and lack of experience on foreign policy. Sen. McCain is right to demand that Obama answer to the American people as to why in the world he would be willing to meet with the head of a government that is taking the lives of U.S. military men and women every day.”

McCain said yesterday that he would make an issue of statements from Obama that the Illinois senator would be willing to sit down and talk with Iranian leaders a front-and-center issue in the fall campaign.

“It does bring up an issue I will be discussing with the American people, and that is why does Barack Obama, Sen. Obama want to sit down with a state sponsor of terrorism?” McCain said. “What does he want to talk about with, with (Iranian president Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad, who said that Israel’s a stinking corpse, who said that he wants to wipe Israel off the map, who’s sending the most explosive devices into Iraq, killing Americans? The point is that peace through strength is the way we achieve peace in the world. That’s the point. I will debate this issue with Sen. Obama throughout this campaign.”

An Obama campaign spokesman fired back at McCain and at President Bush, who used a speech delivered to the Israeli Knesset yesterday to launch a thinly veiled attack at Obama on another front involving Hamas, comparing the idea of meeting with Hamas to try to come to some common ground on Israeli-Palestinian tensions to the appeasement of Adolf Hitler by Western powers in the 1930s.

“Instead of delivering meaningful change, John McCain wants to continue George Bush’s irresponsible and failed Iran policy by refusing to engage in tough, direct diplomacy like Presidents from Kennedy to Reagan have done,” Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

Gilmore, like Bush, invoked Chamberlain in a statement released to the press today.

“In Germany in 1939, as in Iran today, there was a growing opposition to the terrorist policies of Hitler and his henchmen. Chamberlain’s meeting short-circuited that opposition and destroyed any chance the opposition had at removing Hitler from power. A meeting by a U.S. President today with the head of Iran would have similar consequences for the growing opposition in that nation,” Gilmore said.



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