Richardson: “You don’t talk to Ahmadinejad”

posted at 10:40 am on May 21, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

How badly has Barack Obama bungled the Iranian question? His best asset on foreign policy appeared on Fox News this morning to attempt a walk-back of Obama’s pledge to meet Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without preconditions, and wound up criticizing the man he endorsed anyway. Bill Richardson told Fox that “you don’t talk to Ahmadinejad”, and then tried to argue that Obama didn’t specify Ahmadinejad:

Richardson’s strategy to shift the focus from Ahmadinejad to some nebulous concept of “Iranian leadership” simply won’t play. First, as he knows but Obama apparently does not, Ahmadinejad is nothing more than a straw man for the Guardian Council. He also knows how potentially stupid it would be to bolster the standing of a lunatic hard-liner like Ahmandinejad, a man believed to have played a major role in the sacking of the American embassy in 1979 and the hostage-taking afterwards. Instead, he pretends that Obama meant that he would meet with someone else, with “preparations”.

Unfortunately for Obama’s surrogate, his candidate already undermined that position in an interview with ABC yesterday (via the Weekly Standard):

TAPPER: In recent days it has seemed that some of your staffers and supporters have walked back from your statement that you would be willing to meet with the leaders of rogue nations, countries hostile to the US, without preconditions. Your foreign policy adviser Susan Rice said you wouldn’t necessarily meet with Ahmadinijad, Senator Daschle said of course there would be conditions — (Obama interrupts)

OBAMA: You know Jake, I have to say I completely disagree that people have been walking back from anything. They may be correcting the characterizations or distortions of John McCain or others of what I said. What I said was I would meet with our adversaries including Iran, including Venezuela, including Cuba, including North Korea, without preconditions but that does not mean without preparation….there’s a huge difference.

Richardson then goes on to attempt to change the subject to Cuba, where he blames a policy applied consistently for the last 48 years by Republican and Democratic presidents on George W. Bush. He skips entirely over the other members of the College of Oppressive Dictators that Obama pledge by name to meet in his first year without preconditions, Bashar Assad and Hugo Chavez. In case Richardson or anyone else needs their memory freshened, here is the video in which Obama pledged to meet each one – and watch the pictures displayed during the YouTube question:

Fox had Rudy Giuliani playing clean-up on the issue, and he clearly relished the moment. He explains why he knew Obama had made a huge, unforced error, and why the point is so important in evaluating Obama as a candidate:

When even the surrogates run away from the policy, it shows the shocking lack of judgment that Obama has on foreign policy and the nature of threats around the world. Even Bill Richardson knows better.


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Comments

Richardson has always struck me as a guy who seems to have common sense deep down, but his surface is so indoctrinated with Democrat brainwashing that the common sense can only poke its head out for a moment before being shoved back in. His strong pro-gun stance always made me take a second look at him, even if he does think the Soviet Union still exists (which, realistically, it does).

MadisonConservative on May 21, 2008 at 10:48 AM

Even Bill Richardson knows better.

Bill Richardson would have been the stronger ticket for the Dems, but I guess it wasn’t Hispanics’ turn at the History dinner table.

Lehosh on May 21, 2008 at 10:48 AM

but I guess it wasn’t Hispanics’ turn at the History dinner table.

I just spit my coke out over my desk…

Squid Shark on May 21, 2008 at 10:53 AM

First, as he knows but Obama apparently does not, Ahmadinejad is nothing more than a straw man for the Guardian Council.

that is actually what McCain does not know .Check his answers in Florida to J.Klein

sashal on May 21, 2008 at 10:56 AM

I have to say Gulliani is spot on when he said B.H.O. is 1. no experience in foriegn policy and 2. no instincts.

If this guy won’t even debate full on because he doesn’t want his feelers hurt, well, how exactly will it happen if he tries to do his without preconditions and something gets out of hand.

You all voting for B.H.O. better get your head out, breath some oxygen and figure out he isn’t the Messiah!

upinak on May 21, 2008 at 10:57 AM

Even Bill Richardson knows better.

Wicked.

but I guess it wasn’t Hispanics’ turn at the History dinner table.

Wicked.

JiangxiDad on May 21, 2008 at 10:57 AM

Once again, dims try the “you can’t believe your own ears or your lying eyes” approach. Anyone who has any perception of reality must be confused in what the dims are saying and doing. Lets turn our nation over to a first term senator from Chicago. Yeah, thats the ticket.

volsense on May 21, 2008 at 10:58 AM

Richardson had better tread lightly or he’ll find himself a man without a country. When Hillary steals the nomination and wins the presidency, someone had better take his belt and shoelaces away.

Valiant on May 21, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Richardson has always struck me as a guy who seems to have common sense deep down, but his surface is so indoctrinated with Democrat brainwashing that the common sense can only poke its head out for a moment before being shoved back in.

_
_
I think he is a reasonable guy who knows that unless he plays Slap and Tickle with the Far Left once in a while, he’ll just melt away into obscurity.

SlimyBill on May 21, 2008 at 11:00 AM

Richardson is getting flop sweat realizing he jumped from a sturdy tugboat (Hillary) to a sinking yacht (S.S. Obama).

Too late now, Senor Judas.

You’re going down with the faux-Messiah.

No life preservers on that scuttled schooner, either.

(Obama got rid of them because they looked like preconditions to him.)

profitsbeard on May 21, 2008 at 11:01 AM

“you don’t talk to Ahmadinejad”

Huh?

Well, maybe he doesn’t………maybe he ought to speak to Obamessiah

drjohn on May 21, 2008 at 11:01 AM

BO 1st made his blanket negotiation promise on CNN, founded by wack-job Ted Turner. Maybe BO was inspired by Turner’s comments about the Soviet leaders, how they seemed like honest people when he looked into their eyes.

jgapinoy on May 21, 2008 at 11:02 AM

ObamaRX:
The prescription for “A More Socialist Union

Red Pill on May 21, 2008 at 11:02 AM

When even the surrogates run away from the policy, it shows the shocking lack of judgment that Obama has on foreign policy and the nature of threats around the world. Even Bill Richardson knows better

Yes, but Obama is too dense to figure it out. I think he truly believes he can shoot the s#!t with these tyrants.

Rick on May 21, 2008 at 11:04 AM

… without preconditions but that does not mean without preparation… there’s a huge difference.

snob.

yo on May 21, 2008 at 11:04 AM

here is the video in which Obama pledged to meet each one – and watch the pictures displayed during the YouTube question.

This is the key point.

Pundits have been yapping about how this is the “first YouTube election.” It seems as others are fixated on boring text transcripts, Ed here is the first (I’ve seen) to note the significance of the only important video at the much-lauded YouTube Debate.

The video question actually has damning context attached to it—portraits from the Rogues Gallery—that Obama responds affirmatively to, not just some stupid snowman spouting off about healthcare.

So, Team Obama can parse his words all the live long day (A-jad vs. “leadership”), but the video nails him to the wall.

Cuffy Meigs on May 21, 2008 at 11:05 AM

The are going to have to have preparation alright; PreparationH after the get it in the backside from these despots!

bopbottle on May 21, 2008 at 11:07 AM

Well, YOU don’t, but Barry can!

funky chicken on May 21, 2008 at 11:10 AM

My question is whether Obama will wear a Members Only jacket, like Adinnerjacket does, when they meet (as part of the cultural garb).

Rick on May 21, 2008 at 11:10 AM

Obambi,

“What I said was I would meet with our adversaries including Iran, including Venezuela, including Cuba, including North Korea, without preconditions but that does not mean without preparation….there’s a huge difference.”

OK. So, he’s going to prepare to meet without any preconditions.

I feel so much safer now.

What’s that make it now …… both feet and one thumb in his mouth?

fogw on May 21, 2008 at 11:11 AM

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Iran’s National Security Council set Iran’s foreign policy.

PaulD on May 21, 2008 at 11:13 AM

What I said was I would meet with our adversaries including Iran, including Venezuela, including Cuba, including North Korea, without preconditions but that does not mean without preparation….there’s a huge difference

OMG! The man thinks we are that stupid? Of course there is a huge difference between without preconditions and without preparation. The former term means you meet as equals while the latter means you show up unprepared when the dictator takes advantage of the fact that you don’t have a clue what to do after the photo-op is over!

At no time does Obama demonstrate he understands the difference between direct diplomacy and third-party diplomacy. He suggests that the word of Hugo Chavez can be trusted if we just talk to him. He even goes as far as implying that all this chat would really accomplish something! What an idiot!

highhopes on May 21, 2008 at 11:13 AM

What’s that make it now …… both feet and one thumb in his mouth?

fogw on May 21, 2008 at 11:11 AM

Can’t be, being that he has his head in another orifice.

Rick on May 21, 2008 at 11:14 AM

Asking Obama if he understands the apocalyptic cult of
the 12th Imam?
Priceless.

davem on May 21, 2008 at 11:21 AM

I would meet with our adversaries including Iran, including Venezuela, including Cuba, including North Korea, without preconditions but that does not mean without preparation….there’s a huge difference.

… I mean, of course I would be prepared. I’d take clean underwear and my toothbrush, and of course we’d have to check with everyone’s schedules, so… there would be, uuhhhh, preparations. Of course.

Akzed on May 21, 2008 at 11:22 AM

davem on May 21, 2008 at 11:21 AM

Do you really want to find out what he knows?

upinak on May 21, 2008 at 11:22 AM

Preparation brought to you by;

Susan Rice
Zbigniew Brzezinski
Madeline Albright
Bill Richardson
Jimmy Carter

Limerick on May 21, 2008 at 11:27 AM

Pass the guacamole please.

redrock on May 21, 2008 at 11:27 AM

The Obama camp did not have time for internal polls. They were foolish to think this would be a winner, and stepped right into this fight. They now understand that this fight is a loser, and they are backing up. As much as they will try, the MSM will have their hands full trying to hold this clown up. I look foward to the next few months as we find out more about the presumptive democrat nominee.

chief on May 21, 2008 at 11:35 AM

You know what I noticed from all Barry’s quotes in the media? Should read:

OBAMA: You know Jake, Uhhh I have to say I completely disagree Uh that people have been Uhm walking back from anything. Uhh They may be correcting the characterizations or distortions of Uhh John McCain or others of Uh what I Uh said. What I said was Uhh I would meet with our adversaries including Uhh Iran, including Venezuela, including Uhh Cuba, including North Korea, without Uhh preconditions but that does not mean without Uhh preparation….there’s a huge difference.

There certainly is!!!

Ciannaky on May 21, 2008 at 11:35 AM

I think this is all the proof one needs to confirm that Obama is definitely the second term of Carter.

Think_b4_speaking on May 21, 2008 at 11:40 AM

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Iran’s National Security Council set Iran’s foreign policy.

PaulD on May 21, 2008 at 11:13 AM

Just wondering if you are suggesting that it would be better to have the POTUS ask the Muslim Religious Leader of Iran for talks over the President of Iran?

Just how do you think that would be portrayed to all the muslims of the world by their leaders?

Exactly.

If Obama was talking about the Ayatollah over Ahmadinejad he is even more vacant between the ears than anyone has thought up to this point.

Voidseeker on May 21, 2008 at 11:43 AM

Elect BO, you are going to get Dem photo ops with America’s enemies on a daily basis. Think Albright with Kim, Pelosi with Assad, and of course this buffoon.

Rhinoboy on May 21, 2008 at 11:52 AM

Maybe what O’Bambama means by preparation is that he’d get out his handy dandy jar of Vasoline and prep his orifices!.

Griz on May 21, 2008 at 11:56 AM

Is it just me or is Bill Richardson starting to look and talk like Juan Hernandez? We can thank the original Ted Kennedy amnesty program for having idiots like them in this country. Think of what our grand kids will have to deal with if there’s any more amnesty.

orlandocajun on May 21, 2008 at 11:56 AM

This “talking without pre-conditions” debate has massive consequences, even before the election. According to an article by Amir Taheri in the New York Post

http://www.nypost.com/seven/05212008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/obama_to_ajad__atomic_assist_111819.htm?page=0

the pre-conditions agreed to, not only by the Bush Administration, but also by Britain, France, Germany, and the United nations IAEA include the stopping of the Iranian uranium enrichment program.

According to Taheri, some dissidents in the Iranian parliament want to pressure Ahmadinejad to give up uranium enrichment because of the harmful effects of American and European sanctions on the Iranian economy, but Ahmadinejad has decided to stonewall the issue in the “hope for change” of a President Obama, who will sweep all the pre-conditions under the rug for the chance for His Messiahship to overwhelm Ahmadinejad with his eloquent oratory.

Nice going with your “tough diplomacy”, Barry O–you’ve managed to undermine the United Nations and our allies, and strengthen our enemy against dissent in his own country without even being elected yet!!!

Somebody needs to alert the McCain campaign to this article by Taheri–it’s devastating, and could easily sink Obama’s chances if it’s handled properly.

Steve Z on May 21, 2008 at 11:58 AM

Obama has absolutely no clue with regards to dealing with our enemies. Putting him in office puts every one of us here and our troops abroad at greater risk.

WisCon on May 21, 2008 at 12:00 PM

The issue was never that we couldn’t talk to him, it was whether or not we should try appeasement.

Sir Andrew on May 21, 2008 at 12:09 PM

So would Obama practice giving his voice an arabic accent before he travelled to Iran?

Bishop on May 21, 2008 at 12:12 PM

I hope McCain keeps his cabinets picks close to the vest during the campaign so as not to alienate anyone but I hope Rudy has pick of the litter.

As to Obama nothing more needs to be said. He said it all.

patrick neid on May 21, 2008 at 12:15 PM

This probably has more to do with John Edwards than any bungled talking points. Somebody’s jealous of Silky.

rw on May 21, 2008 at 12:18 PM

Rudy sure is sharp.

mikeyboss on May 21, 2008 at 5:19 PM

Richardson, PLEASE!
If you really want to help Obama, just shave off the ALGORE beard and mustache NOW!

Conservaboomer on May 21, 2008 at 6:26 PM

Giuliani is the best!

Go Rudy! :}

Chakra Hammer on May 21, 2008 at 7:36 PM