Governor: Hamas nod dooms Obama in Florida
Charlie Crist cites controversy that began with WND interview

Posted: May 22, 2008
4:29 pm Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Gov. Charlie Crist
Citing the controversy that began with WND’s interview with a Hamas leader, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said citizens of the Sunshine State will find Sen. Barack Obama’s positions on foreign policy out of the mainstream.

Crist, credited with helping Sen. John McCain win the Florida Republican primary, told a New York Times reporter he believes the Arizona senator will be successful this fall in the crucial swing state, because Obama “is for higher taxes, and I think the whole Hamas issue is a drag.”

Crist was referring to the fallout from a interview by WND’s Aaron Klein and WABC radio with a top Hamas official who said he hopes the Illinois senator becomes president. Ahmed Yousef, Hamas’ chief political adviser in the Gaza Strip, also compared Obama to President John F. Kennedy.

McCain seized on the “endorsement,” with campaign manager Brian Rogers asserting “the reason for Hamas’ praise of Senator Obama’s foreign policy is his commitment to meet unconditionally with Iran.”

Crist told the Times’ Kevin Sack he believes Obama’s stances on foreign policy and taxes won’t win over the citizens of his state.

“I think Floridians are pretty mainstream,” Crist said. “I’m not sure Senator Obama is. I believe some group rated him as the most liberal Senator. I don’t think that will go over well in Florida.”

The governor was referring to the National Journal’s annual Senate vote ratings, published in January, which ranked Obama most liberal.

Analysts have considered Crist, a popular first-term governor, as a potential running mate for McCain.

In the interview with Yousef, the Hamas leader said, “We like Mr. Obama, and we hope that he will win the elections. I hope Mr. Obama and the Democrats will change the political discourse. … I do believe [Obama] is like John Kennedy, a great man with a great principal. And he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community, but not with humiliation and arrogance.”

Yousef volunteered his statements about Obama in response to a question inquiring whether he was surprised the senator and other presidential candidates criticized Jimmy Carter’s recent meetings with Hamas.

Responding to the Hamas leader’s comments, McCain contended Obama wants to “sit down and negotiate with a government exporting most lethal devices used against soldiers. He wants to sit down face to face with a government that is very clear about developing nuclear weapons. … They are sponsors of terrorist organizations. That’s a huge difference in my opinion. And I’ll let the American people decide whether that’s a significant difference or not. I believe it is.”

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