A Republican who favors talking to Iran might be part of an Obama administration, the Democratic presidential candidate suggested.
Barack Obama made his comments about Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.).
“If I’m interested in figuring out my foreign policy, I associate myself with my running mate, Joe Biden, or with Dick Lugar, the Republican ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or General Jim Jones, the former supreme allied commander of NATO,” Obama, the U.S. senator from Illinois, said Wednesday in his final debate with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). “Those are the people, Democrats and Republicans, who have shaped my ideas and who will be surrounding me in the White House.” Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been touted in news reports in recent weeks as a possible secretary of state in an Obama administration, but this was the first on-the-record signal that Obama was considering him as a formal adviser. Lugar has often dissented from Bush administration policies in the Middle East, where he has favored talks with Iran and has pressed for greater engagement in advancing Israeli-Palestinian talks. Wednesday’s debate was to have focused entirely on domestic policy, but strayed occasionally into foreign policy. Obama was defending himself against allegations that his associates were radicals when he said he would want Lugar in the White House.