Friday, October 3, 2008

Fact Checking CNN's Fact Checking on Obama Meeting Ahmadinejad

CNN's fact checking site called misleading the GOP assertion that Sen. Barack Obama has said in the past that he would meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Sen. Joe Biden said at the debate "it is simply not true" that Obama said he would "sit down" with Ahmadinejad.

CNN's conclusion is that while Obama has said he wouldn't rule out meeting with any foreign leader, he never specifically said he'd meet with the Iranian president.

But that in itself is misleading.

Here is Obama in a July 27, 2007 debate when he made the famous statement about meeting Iran's leader without preconditions:

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.

And here is Obama in a recent press conference where he confirms his position:

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