Halperin falsely claims Obama said Kissinger supports presidential talks with Iran

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Mark Halperin: "Obama said during the debate that Kissinger, a McCain adviser, supports presidential talks with the Iranian president."

This is false.

During the debate, Obama said Kissinger "said that we should meet with Iran -- guess what -- without precondition" -- not that the meetings should happen at the presidential level.

McCain repeatedly purported to correct this statement by saying Kissinger doesn't support presidential-level talks with Iran -- and each time, Obama made clear that was not his contention.

The transcript is here. See for yourself. Halperin isn't telling the truth. He's just parroting the McCain spin.

UPDATE: The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza writes: "McCain was able to turn a single question about meeting with rogue leaders into an extended colloquy that ended with him hitting Obama for misunderstanding Henry Kissinger. A very good moment for McCain."

This, too is false. Obama didn't misunderstand Kissinger. McCain misstated Obama's accurate statement about Kissinger. Again, read the transcript for yourself. Obama doesn't say Kissinger favors presidential-level talks; he says Kissinger favors talks. And the AP notes: "Obama was right that Kissinger called for meetings without preconditions."

So it's only a "very good moment for McCain" if you think that misstating your opponent's comments for the purposes of rebutting them is a "good moment."

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy
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