Speaking at the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) meeting today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) derided the idea of direct talks with the Iranian leadership, as favored by Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), mocking “the hope that we can talk sense into them“:
[W]e hear talk of a meeting with the Iranian leadership offered up as if it were some sudden inspiration, a bold new idea that somehow nobody has ever thought of before. Yet it’s hard to see what such a summit with President Ahmadinejad would actually gain, except an earful of anti-Semitic rants, and a worldwide audience for a man who denies one Holocaust and talks before frenzied crowds about starting another.
McCain has compared negotiating with Iran to Neville Chamberlain and the appeasement of Hitler prior to World War II. Last month, he insisted Obama “ought to explain to the American people” why he wants to negotiate with Iranian leaders.
It turns out Americans don’t require much explanation. A new poll shows that a majority of Americans favors direct presidential meetings “with leaders of foreign countries considered to be enemies of the United States”:
The poll found that about six in 10 Americans favor direct presidential talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad specifically. “Both positions enjoy broad popular appeal, with majorities of men, women, younger and older Americans, and those from different regions of the country all saying direct presidential-level talks with Iran and other enemies are a good idea,” Gallup reports.
McCain has said that “the American people want a president who is prepared to lead our country in a dangerous world.” Apparently he hasn’t listened to how they want that president to lead the country.