AP 2007: WASHINGTON — Barack Obama’s offer to meet without precondition with leaders of renegade nations such as Cuba, North Korea and Iran touched off a war of words, with rival Hillary Rodham Clinton calling him naive and Obama linking her to President Bush’s diplomacy. Older politicians in both parties questioned the wisdom of such a course, while Obama’s supporters characterized it as a repudiation of Bush policies of refusing to engage with certain adversaries. It triggered a round of competing memos and statements Tuesday between the chief Democratic presidential rivals. Obama’s team portrayed it as a bold stroke; Clinton supporters saw it as a gaffe that underscored the freshman senator’s lack of foreign policy experience.
“I thought that was irresponsible and frankly naive,” Clinton was quoted in an interview with the Quad-City Times that was posted on the Iowa newspaper’s Web site on Tuesday. In response, Obama told the newspaper that her stand puts her in line with the Bush administration.