"I'm very upset with John with some of the things he's been saying," Hagel added. "And I can't get into the psychoanalysis of it. But I believe that John is smarter than some of the things he is saying. He is, he understands it more. John is a man who reads a lot, he's been around the world. I want him to get above that and maybe when he gets into the general election, and becomes the general election candidate he will have a higher-level discourse on these things." Hagel, who is not running for reelection in November, has become an outspoken critic of the War in Iraq and he said in April he is open to the possibility of endorsing Obama's candidacy.
Speaking Tuesday night at the Italian ambassador's Washington residence, Hagel specifically took issue with McCain's criticisms of Obama's position that he would be willing to meet with leaders like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinjad without preconditions. "I never understand how anyone in any realm of civilized discourse could sort through the big issues and challenges and threats and figure out how to deal with those without engaging in some way," Hagel said. Hagel's comments follow a prolonged back and forth between both McCain and Obama over the best way to deal with Iran. Speaking to CNN Tuesday, Obama said McCain "essentially wants to continue George Bush’s policies of not talking to leaders we don’t like and not talking to countries we don’t like." McCain suggested at a Chicago campaign event Monday that Obama doesn’t understand the "basic realities of international relations" and that engaging Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad diplomatically would only embolden him. "Senator Obama has declared, and repeatedly reaffirmed his intention to meet the President of Iran without any preconditions, likening it to meetings between former American Presidents and the leaders of the Soviet Union," said McCain. "Such a statement betrays the depth of Senator Obama’s inexperience and reckless judgment. Some Republicans revolt against McCain's Lies
Also Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama continued their tussle over foreign policy Tuesday, shifting their argument to whether the U.S. should engage Cuba's communist regime. Sen. John McCain addresses a town hall meeting in Miami, Florida, Tuesday. Over the last few days, the two have sparred over whether the U.S. should engage diplomatically with another regime considered hostile to the U.S. -- Iran. At a Tuesday campaign event in Miami, Florida, McCain attacked Obama's position in favor of a possible relaxation of the Cuban embargo policy and discussions with the leadership of the island nation.
"These steps would send the worst possible signal to Cuba's dictators -- there is no need to undertake fundamental reforms, they can simply wait for a unilateral change in U.S. policy. I believe we should give hope to the Cuban people, not to the Castro regime," said the presumed Republican nominee, saying the embargo needed to remain in place until the Cuban government democratized. Watch McCain blast Obama's stance toward Cuba »
But in an interview with CNN, Obama, the front-runner in the Democratic presidential race and potentially McCain's rival in the general election, said McCain had mischaracterized his position on Cuba. "I have never said that I was prepared to immediately normalize relations with Cuba," Obama said. "The only person who has flip-flopped on this issue is John McCain, who in 2000 said that he would be prepared to start normalizing relations even if a whole host of steps have not been taken. That is a reversal from the position he is taking now." Obama said Tuesday that his policy, which would loosen restrictions on remittances from Cubans living in the United States to relatives on the island, and on their travel between the United States and Cuba would be "a show of good faith" that would help move the U.S.-Cuba relationship "in the direction of normalization." McCain just won't stop lying