McCain Likens Obama-Castro Handshake to Hitler Moment 

The Arizona senator compared the president’s handshake with the Cuban dictator to Neville Chamberlain’s handshake with Hitler. 

John McCain
John McCain Eric Thayer/Getty Images

“Handshake-gate” took an even stranger twist as John McCain compared President Obama’s two–second handshake with Cuban dictator Raúl Castro to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s handshake with Adolf Hilter at the start of World War II, the Washington Post reports.

“It gives Raúl some propaganda to continue to prop up his dictatorial brutal regime, that’s all,” McCain said on the Takeaway radio program, which was recorded by Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich.

McCain said that the president should not have extended his hand to the Cuban leader.

“Of course not,” the senator said when asked. “Why should you shake hands with somebody who’s keeping Americans in prison? I mean, what’s the point?”

Then McCain made the Hitler comparison.

“Neville Chamberlain shook hands with Hitler,” he said.

The handshake that McCain is referring to is “the British prime minister’s infamous handshake with the German dictator as Britain was negotiating Germany’s takeover of the Sudentenland,” the Washington Post reports.

Obama’s handshake was quite different, however. While moving through a crowd of dignitaries to make his way to the podium to address the crowd, Obama shook hands with several leaders seated in the area, including Castro.