Democrats are accusing John McCain of hypocrisy on the question of whether the U.S. should talk to terrorists and dictators. They say the Republican presidential candidate has previously expressed a willingness to negotiate with the militant Palestinian group Hamas.
In an op-ed published by The Washington Post, former Clinton State Department official James Rubin says McCain told him in an interview for Britain's Sky News two years ago that "sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them." Rubin not only accuses McCain of hypocrisy but also of "smearing" Democratic presidential front-runner Barack Obama.
Thursday, McCain suggested that Obama was naive and inexperienced for expressing a willingness to meet with rogue leaders like Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
A campaign spokesman says that McCain believes any talks would "require mandatory conditions" and Hamas would have to renounce violence and "abandon its goal of eradicating Israel."