Obama: Iran is not a “serious threat in the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us” (MORE: MCCAIN RESPONDS)

Good freaking grief:

Barack Obama gave an interesting description of Iran and the threat it poses to the United States and our national interests at an appearance in Oregon last night. “They don’t pose a serious threat to us in the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us” Obama told a cheering audience, explaining why he doesn’t think we need to worry about “tiny” countries like Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, and Iran.

There’s video of Obama’s remarks at that link. Will he view the responses that are sure to follow from McCain and other Republicans as a “distraction“?

In other Obama news, he’s declared controversial remarks made by his wife while she was on the campaign trail off limits. Jake Tapper wonders if this means the DNC will stop picking on Cindy McCain for refusing to release her tax returns.

Wha? Consistency? Certainly he jests!

In general, I am not fond of seeing family members of candidates and politicians being made the focus of any opposition campaigns, especially if the family member is pretty much a non-controversial figure (like Dick Cheney’s daughter – we all know how Kedwards shamelessly tried to use her in the 2004 campaign) just out there supporting their guy (or gal). But when you put yourself out there on the level that Michelle Obama frequently has, and make controversial remarks, you’re going to be subjected to scrutiny, particularly when you are downing this country as MO has a habit of doing.

Laura Bush herself was the subject of scrutiny – by other Republicans/conservatives when she was promoting breast cancer in the Middle East and was photographed next to women in burkas. She was also taken to task by Republicans/conservatives over remarks she made about GOPr’s who opposed the nomination of Harriet Miers. These were controversial things she said/did, and as a result, she was called to the carpet for it.

Now, the far left has been after Laura Bush for years. Sometimes the criticisms have been valid, but more often I’ve found that they are flat out repulsive. There’s a way to go about criticizing the candidate’s spouse/other relatives without stooping to a certain level. But declaring discussion of their remarks/positions on the issues off limits? Um, no.

I can’t comment on the TN GOP anti-Michelle Obama ad that is in question because I haven’t seen it, but I would say even without seeing it that from a strategical standpoint, it’s probably not a great move because it focuses on the candidate’s wife and not him – and in the south in particular one might find a minor backlash from those who believe it’s not right for the TN GOP to be running ads about Obama’s wife, since she’s not the one running for president. Michelle Obama’s negative remarks about this country are something that should make the rounds amongst the pundits, bloggers, and other political junkies – that stuff has a way of filtering down to people who otherwise wouldn’t know about it. Officially, I think the GOP – both state parties and national, would be better off sticking to the candidate himself. IMO, of course.

Anyone seen the ad? If so, what do you think?

Related: McQ asks a great question: if spouses are supposed to be completely off limits, what about Bill Clinton? The same rules are doubtful to apply because 1) we’re talking about Barry O. here, where double standards rule the day and 2) Bill Clinton is not a female spouse (and is also a former prez.). Hate to say it, but we all know that’s how the game is going to be played out in the MSM.

Update: Sez McCain in Chicago this morning:

“Before I begin my prepared remarks, I want to respond briefly to a comment Senator Obama made yesterday about the threat posed to the United States by the Government of Iran. Senator Obama claimed that the threat Iran poses to our security is “tiny” compared to the threat once posed by the former Soviet Union. Obviously, Iran isn’t a superpower and doesn’t possess the military power the Soviet Union had. But that does not mean that the threat posed by Iran is insignificant. On the contrary, right now Iran provides some of the deadliest explosive devices used in Iraq to kill our soldiers. They are the chief sponsor of Shia extremists in Iraq, and terrorist organizations in the Middle East. And their President, who has called Israel a “stinking corpse” has repeatedly made clear his government’s commitment to Israel’s destruction. Most worrying, Iran is intent on acquiring nuclear weapons. The biggest national security challenge the United States currently faces is keeping nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists. Should Iran acquire nuclear weapons, that danger would become very dire, indeed. They might not be a superpower, but the threat the Government of Iran poses is anything but “tiny.”

“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. Such a statement betrays the depth of Senator Obama’s inexperience and reckless judgment. Those are very serious deficiencies for an American president to possess. An ill conceived meeting between the President of the United States and the President of Iran, and the massive world media coverage it would attract, would increase the prestige of an implacable foe of the United States, and reinforce his confidence that Iran’s dedication to acquiring nuclear weapons, supporting terrorists and destroying the State of Israel had succeeded in winning concessions from the most powerful nation on earth. And he is unlikely to abandon the dangerous ambitions that will have given him a prominent role on the world stage.

“This is not to suggest that the United States should not communicate with Iran our concerns about their behavior. Those communications have already occurred at an appropriate level, which the Iranians recently suspended. But a summit meeting with the President of the United States, which is what Senator Obama proposes, is the most prestigious card we have to play in international diplomacy. It is not a card to be played lightly. Summit meetings must be much more than personal get-acquainted sessions. They must be designed to advance American interests. An unconditional summit meeting with the next American president would confer both international legitimacy on the Iranian president and could strengthen him domestically when he is unpopular among the Iranian people. It is likely such a meeting would not only fail to persuade him to abandon Iran’s nuclear ambitions; its support of terrorists and commitment to Israel’s extinction, it could very well convince him that those policies are succeeding in strengthening his hold on power, and embolden him to continue his very dangerous behavior. The next President ought to understand such basic realities of international relations.”

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