Time‘s Joe Klein is out to prove that McCain is lying about Obama’s position on negotiating with Iran, and doesn’t know who is running the country.
As for J. Klein’s first point, Michael Goldfarb has already done an able job of discrediting it by posting a video of Obama using the name Ahmadinejad in the context of his pledge to negotiate with Iran, so I expect that a correction will be forthcoming.
But J. Klein makes even more of a fool of himself — if that’s at all possible — by trying to suggest that Obama may have been talking about Iran’s supreme leader, rather than its president:
I wonder what his definition of “flagrant anti-Semite” is, because it turns out that while Ahmadinejad has called Israel a “stinking corpse” that needed to be wiped off the map, Khamenei has called it a “cancerous tumor” that “should be removed from the region…”
As Reuters reported on Decmber 15, 2000:
The larger point here is this. The left wants to portray McCain as an ignoramus for constantly mentioning Ahmadinejad –the most identifiable public face of Iran — rather than Supreme Leader Khamenei. J. Klein proudly confronted McCain on this at a press conference today. But it isn’t as if Ahmadinejad is a member of some opposition party, nor would he be allowed to make the statements he does were his views not shared by the ruling regime.Â It’s pretty clear that his inflamatory statements were just in keeping with long-standing Iranian policy.
So, McCain was absolutely correct when he responded to J. Klein’s chest-pounding interrogation by saying of Ahmadinejad that:
If Obama and his media allies want to change course, and advocate meeting with the guy who thinks Israel is a “cancerous tumor” instead, that’s their right.
But I say, let’s call the whole thing off.