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Obama reacts to Bush / McCain * Dumb Ideas

Obama accuses Bush of ‘appalling attack’

Candidate responds to president’s comments on appeasement

updated 4:41 p.m. ET May 16, 2008

WATERTOWN, S.D. – Barack Obama rebuked Republican rival John McCain and President Bush for “dishonest, divisive” attacks in hinting that the Democratic presidential candidate would appease terrorists, staunchly defending his national security credentials for the general election campaign.

Obama responded Friday to Bush’s speech Thursday to the Israeli Knesset. The president referred to the leader of Iran, who has called for the destruction of the U.S. ally, and then said some seem to believe that we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals — comments Obama and Democrats said were directed at them. McCain subsequently said Obama must explain why he wants to talk with rogue leaders.

 “I’m a strong believer in civility and I’m a strong believer in a bipartisan foreign policy, but that cause is not served with dishonest, divisive attacks of the sort that we’ve seen out of George Bush and John McCain over the last couple days, ” Obama told about 2,000 voters at a town hall-style meeting in a livestock barn.

Obama said McCain had a “naive and irresponsible belief that tough talk from Washington will somehow cause Iran to give up its nuclear program and support for terrorism.”

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