From NBC/NJ's Aswini Anburajan
SCRANTON, PA -- Chomping down on sausage and waffles at Glider's Diner in Scranton today, with his Pennsylvania BFF (Sen. Bob Casey) at his side, Obama avoided commenting on former President Jimmy Carter's meeting with Hamas.
Asked by a reporter if he had heard that Carter reported a positive outcome from the meeting, Obama looked sternly at the reporter in question and said, "Why can't I just eat my waffle?"
Asked again by the reporter, Obama bit -- not at the question but into a butter covered bite of Glider's specialty over-size Belgian waffles. With a wink this time he said, "Just let me eat my waffle."
Since Carter announced he was meeting with Hamas, Obama has criticized him for meeting with a terrorist organization. He has also been attacked by McCain for not condemning Carter's visit more sternly.
At a meeting with Jewish leaders in Philadelphia last week, Obama told the audience there that while he thought it was appropriate to meet with countries like Syria and Iran because they were states, despite their hostilities towards Israel. However, he said, Hamas was a terrorist organization and so did not justify a meeting.
He repeated those reasons at a town hall in Reading yesterday, when asked by a voter about his thoughts on Carter's trip.
"I think it's very hard for us to be able to broker a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians if a certain portion of their actors or the people who are representing the Palestinians don't even recognize the people on the other side of the table as being able to say there," he said.
Obama's trip to Glider's included glad-handing with voters and listening to a trumpet solo by a 17-year-old high school student. Obama tapped his foot as the kid riffed a jazzy tune on his trumpet.
The Scranton diner stop is part of the campaign's final push for voters in Pennsylvania before tomorrow's primary. Obama will also hold a town hall in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh suburbs and a rally in Pittsburgh today.