McCain: Bush ‘Exactly Right’ On ‘Appeasement’ Remark, Praises Reagan’s Handling Of Iran Hostage Crisis

Referring to President Bush’s notorious comments, MSNBC’s Pat Buchanan asked this morning: Will Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) “endorse this statement about Barack Obama that in effect he is an appeaser?” Today, McCain confirmed that he would.

The New York Times reports that McCain “wholeheartedly endorsed Mr. Bush’s veiled rebuke” at Obama. Talking to reporters this morning, McCain said:

Yes, there have been appeasers in the past, and the president is exactly right, and one of them is Neville Chamberlain. I believe that it’s not an accident that our hostages came home from Iran when President Reagan was president of the United States. He didn’t sit down in a negotiation with the religious extremists in Iran, he made it very clear that those hostages were coming home.

McCain elaborated on his campaign bus today, claiming diplomatic talks are a “serious error.” Watch it:

McCain’s praise of Ronald Reagan is wholly misplaced. To recap, during the Iran-Contra affair in the 1980s, hostages were not released because of Iran’s fear of Reagan, as McCain suggested. In reality, Iran released them after Reagan administration officials infamously sold arms to the country, which were transfered to Ayatollah Khomeini. As a result, 11 Reagan officials were convicted of crimes.


Furthermore, Reagan did not have to “negotiate” with Iran during the hostage crisis of the 1970s because he wasn’t involved in it. The extensive negotiations with Iran were done before his presidency. In fact, Reagan’s inauguration occurred only minutes before the hostages were released.

McCain should take note of what Reagan said in 1981: “Our reluctance for conflict should not be misjudged as a failure of will.”