ABC’s Bret Hovell reports: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., continued to hammer at Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill, Monday with the same line of attack that he took last week, criticizing Obama’s willingness to meet diplomatically as president with isolated world leaders, like Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.
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Below are some excerpts from McCain’s remarks, delivered in Obama’s hometown of Chicago before the National Restaurant Association.
"I want to respond briefly to a comment Senator Obama made yesterday about the threat posed to the United States by the government of Iran. Senator Obama claimed that the threat Iran poses to our security is tiny compared to the threat once posed by the former Soviet Union. Obviously, Iran isn’t a superpower, doesn’t possess the military power the Soviet Union had. But that does not mean, by any stretch of the imagination that the threat posed by Iran is insignificant. On the contrary, right now Iran provides some of the deadliest explosive devices used in Iraq to kill our soldiers. They are the chief sponsor of Shia extremists in Iraq, and terrorist organizations in the Middle East. And their President, who has called Israel a stinking corpse, has repeatedly made clear his government’s commitment, commitment, to Israel’s destruction. Most worrying, Iran is intent on acquiring nuclear weapons…”
McCain continued: "This is not to suggest that the United States should not communicate with Iran our concerns about their behavior. Those communications have already occurred at an appropriate level, which the Iranians recently suspended. But a summit meeting with the President of the United States, which is what Senator Obama proposes, is the most prestigious card we have to play in international diplomacy. It is not a card to be played lightly.”
The remarks about Iran and Obama topped the speech, which focused primarily on trade and economic policy and often mentioned Obama by name. McCain pledged that if elected president he would veto a farm bill loaded with farm subsidies and support NAFTA and other international trade agreements.
McCain’s remarks were briefly interrupted by protesters wearing pink aprons and chanting “McCain is in the kitchen with George Bush.” Security removed the protesters, who were loudly booed by the crowd. McCain got a standing ovation from the National Restaurant Association crowd when the protesters were gone.