FactCheck.org took a look at this latest McCain ad that touches on Sen. Barack Obama's statement that he would meet with Hugo Chavez without preconditions. The ad is playing in Florida along with a Spanish verison.
The facts cited by the announcer in this ad are all correct. They go back to an answer he gave in a Democratic primary debate in 2007:
Question, July 27, 2007 debate: In 1982, Anwar Sadat traveled to Israel, a trip that resulted in a peace agreement that has lasted ever since. In the spirit of that type of bold leadership, would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?
Obama: I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them — which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration — is ridiculous.
Now, Ronald Reagan and Democratic presidents like JFK constantly spoke to Soviet Union at a time when Ronald Reagan called them an evil empire. And the reason is because they understood that we may not trust them and they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we had the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward.
And I think that it is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them…
The Associated Press reported that the ad was condemned by the Venezuela Information Office. The office said it is an "attempt at fear-mongering" that demonizes Venezuela and Chavez. The U.S.-based office, which is funded by Chavez's government, said his words "were taken out of context and used as a baseless attack."