Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace did not challenge Gov. Tim Pawlenty's false assertion that Sen. Barack Obama “is somebody who has first said that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard isn't a terrorist group, and now he's changed his views on that and several other foreign policy issues.” In fact, Obama has consistently supported designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, having co-sponsored a bill in 2007 to do so.
On the June 8 edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace did not challenge Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's (R) false assertion that Sen. Barack Obama “is somebody who has first said that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard isn't a terrorist group, and now he's changed his views on that and several other foreign policy issues.” As Media Matters for America has documented, Obama has consistently supported designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, having co-sponsored a bill in 2007 expressing the sense of the Congress that "[t]he Secretary of State should designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a Foreign Terrorist Organization" and “the Secretary of the Treasury should place the Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists.” Obama said he would have voted against a different bill -- the Kyl-Lieberman resolution -- because it “states that our military presence in Iraq should be used to counter Iran,” not because the resolution expressed the sense of the Senate that “the United States should designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization.”
Pawlenty's assertion echoes McCain's own reported accusation during a June 4 blogger conference call that Obama “switched” his position on the issue. The call was transcribed by National Review Online blogger Jim Geraghty:
Jen Rubin [Commentary magazine blogger and humanevents.com columnist]: What did you think of Obama saying he felt the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps should be designated a terrorist organization, after voting against a bill to do that a few months ago?
McCain: Well, he's switched on several issues, but this one is remarkable. One he was categorical in his statement when he opposed that legislation. Then he goes before AIPAC and supports it. I know he's changing on the surge, he's trying to change on his pledge to negotiate with dictators without preconditions. ... The American people will not buy this. ... He doesn't have the experience or the knowledge to make the judgments that are necessary.
From the June 8 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace:
PAWLENTY: And if you're going to be running for president of the United States, it seems like it would be a good idea to have visited Iraq sometime in the last 900 or so days. Senator Obama has not done that. He's not asked for direct meetings with General [David] Petraeus, unfortunately. He is somebody who has first said that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard isn't a terrorist group, and now he's changed his views on that and several other foreign policy issues. It reflects an uncertainty in his judgment and perhaps even his knowledge.
But at the very least, he should go visit Iraq with Senator McCain. The two of them together, I think, could learn a lot or continue to learn a lot. Senator McCain has already been there I think over eight times since 2003.
WALLACE: Governor Kaine, I want you to, obviously, respond to that --
GOV. TIM KAINE (D-VA): Absolutely.
WALLACE: -- but doesn't Obama have an experience problem? He keeps changing the parameters for these meetings with foreign adversaries, what constitutes conditions, and just this week, he had to backtrack when he told a pro-Israel group that he supported keeping Jerusalem as the undivided capitol of Israel. And then had to -- as I said -- backtrack from that.
KAINE: Well --
WALLACE: Doesn't he have an issue there?
KAINE: Let me just talk about the Jerusalem issue. He says he believes personally that Jerusalem should be undivided. But, this is a matter of negotiation that's ongoing between Israel and Palestinian leaders right now, and he says he respects that process. They're negotiating that. They're going to decide what the right framework is. He expressed a personal preference and a belief.
The issue of experience is fundamentally -- and Sen. McCain's clip said it so well -- it's about judgment, and this is a stark difference between these candidates. Senator Obama said in '02, “This war would be a big mistake.” It's not about whether we win the war, it's about whether we win the right war.