McCain's Full Comments On James Baker - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
McCain’s Full Comments On James Baker

Here is a transcript of my exchange with John McCain regarding James Baker. I think McCain was overly defensive, because it must have come across to him that I was questioning his support for Israel, when in reality, I was questioning how Baker could be considered somebody capable of helping implement the kind of pro-Israel foreign policy that McCain supports. Anyway, I'll let you be the judge:

PK: Hi Senator McCain, I just wanted to clarify something. I know that you've always been a strong supporter of Israel, but I was disappointed to come across an interview I had seen with you in 2006, where you mentioned James Baker as someone who you might want to send over to Israel to micromanage the Middle East conflict. Even if you don't accept some of the disparaging comments that James Baker reportedly made about Jews, looking at his foreign policy public statements, clearly he is of the view that American foreign policy is too pro-Israel, and as recently as the Iraq Study Group report, he called for pressuring Israel into giving up land to Syria as part of an arrangement to pacify Iraq. I guess I was wondering if you still stand by those comments, if you can clarify them, and give me any indication as to how you reconcile supporting Israel with wanting to send James Baker over there?

SEN. MCCAIN: Well, in all do respect, I have a very clear record of 24 years of support of Israel. Ask Ehud Barak. Ask Olmert. I'm sorry that you didn't get the chance to ask Shimon Peres. Ask any Israeli…

PK: No, I'm not questioning your record on Israel, that's why I was kind of confused when I read the statements about James Baker.

SEN MCCAIN: I respect James Baker, and I respect him a great deal. And so all I have to tell you is that I will stand on my record of support for the state of Israel. I mentioned his name in a group with a number of others, and I also have great respect for James Baker, even though we may have a disagreement on a specific issue. I have consulted with many people across the board, I continue to visit the state of Israel, I continue to dedicate my efforts to the independence of the state of Israel, and if it bothers you that I mentioned James Baker's name, then I apologize for that, but I will stand on my record, no matter who I mention, in any context. My not only support for the state of Israel, but knowledge of the issues, players, and knowing how to get the issue resolved, maintaining the integrity and independence of the state of Israel. Okay?

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