April 4th, 2008
07:10 AM ET
4 years ago

Clinton backer Clark accuses McCain of failing vets

2004 Democratic candidate Wes Clark has been taking aim at presumptive 2008 GOP nominee McCain.
2004 Democratic candidate Wes Clark has been taking aim at presumptive 2008 GOP nominee McCain.

(CNN) - The same day Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts said Arizona Sen. John McCain’s military service didn’t mean he was qualified to be commander-in-chief, another prominent Democratic veteran and former presidential candidate – former Gen. Wesley Clark – sent supporters a message accusing the presumptive Republican nominee of failing recent veterans.

An e-mail sent from Clark’s political action committee WesPAC, and co-signed by the former general, takes aim at the GOP senator, asking “Why Won’t McCain Support Our Vets?”

The message urges individuals to sign a petition calling on McCain to back a veterans benefit bill co-sponsored by Democratic Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia and Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, and criticizes him for not yet pledging his support for the measure.

“So far, John McCain has refused. The same McCain who insists he supports our troops. The same McCain who is voting lockstep with the Bush administration (who has also resisted this bill),” reads the e-mail.

It adds that a young Iraq and Afghanistan vet “thinks John McCain ought to stand in his shoes to know how difficult it is to be a vet and have to pay staggering education costs. THIS is your call to arms. …”

Clark, a supporter of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, has attacked McCain several times this year, focusing his fire on the national security and foreign policy credentials that have been at the heart of the Republican's White House bid.

Last month, he told reporters on a Clinton campaign conference call that the New York senator was more qualified than McCain to be the next commander-in-chief because the senator’s experience as a naval fighter pilot did not prepare him “in terms of dealing with the national strategic issues” he would encounter in the White House.

Two months ago, in a fundraising e-mail for Senate Democrats, he wrote “If you don’t think John McCain is just as dangerous in the White House as George W. Bush, think again.”

Clark criticized McCain’s support for President Bush’s Iraq policy, writing that “John McCain and any Republican senator who supports his presidential candidacy are offering more of the same. And they have got to go.”


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    They are right about McCain's failure to support vets. Just recently when there was the original proposal for the stimulus package, vets weren't included and John McCain didn't lift one finger to get them included and many vets expressed their angry for him at that time. John McCain stands in for himself only and nobody else. I find him to be very insensitive to the American peoples needs and he is too old to have any vision of the future.

    April 4, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. Marine

    Gee, correct me if I am wrong but didn't both Kerry and Clark tout the military leadership when they were running.

    Typical know nothing idiots!

    April 4, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  3. DB, San Francisco

    I love when one old rich guy accusses another old rich guy of not understanding how tough it is for poor people.

    April 4, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  4. Vince, Jupiter, Florida

    My sister-in-law is a lobbyist for the veteran’s administration. Her father was a diplomat that worked for Admiral McCain, John McCain's father and she has known John for many years. But unfortunately over the past 20 years or so McCain has consistently rejected her requests for help with benefits for veterans. It's hard to understand why but one thing that is important about McCain’s military experience is that it did not cause him to question the need to go to war in Iraq. McCain is constantly reminding us of his military experience however it did not stop him from helping Bush charge into the dumbest war in U.S. history.

    After helping Bush create this mess he now wants to tell us how to fix it. Thanks but no thanks...

    April 4, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  5. lol

    every time one of the campaign surrogates belittle mccains military record, they look ridiculous. you have to admire mccain for his dedicated service to america. you can argue policy differences, but this is just petty.

    April 4, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. Grif

    I think you said... A Clinton Backer... So???? I didn't know John McCain was a democrat..

    April 4, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. Steve

    A statement bty the State Department states and I will quote under 7 fam 1116.1-4 (c) Not included in the meaning of the United States.
    "Despite widespread popular belief, U.S. military installations and U.S. diplomatic or consular facilities are not part of the United States within the meaning of the 14th Amendmengt. A child born on the premise of such a facility is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and does not aquire U.S. Citizenship by reason of birth.
    7 Fam 1116.2-1 Subject at Birth to U.S. States Law (a) Simply stated "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States means subject to the laws of the United States.
    As in previous blog if you read the treaty signed by the USA and Panama you will find that Panama did not give any land to the YSA. It only let the USA use the land like Germany and Japan lets the USA use their land for military bases.

    April 4, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. JNJoe

    AJ... Shame on you... I'm a vet... yet I'm paying for my school... why? because the GI Bill is not enough... just like Gen. Clark, Webb and Hagel, the proposal it's to have the GI Bill WWII vet had the benefit to have. If the GI Bill would pay for full tuition, books, and dorm, I would be able to concentrate in my studies, but I guess giving our lives, and sacrifices it's not enough? Our vets deserve better... and it's time for John McCain to step up...

    April 4, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. Robin

    Since hillary is losing to Obama and can't beat him, she now has her attack dogs going after McCain .Another desperate attempt by the clintons to use smoke, mirrors and lies to obscure the truth .
    JJinNY

    An Obama win is by no means a foregone conclusion, JJ, and she and General Clarke are targeting, rightly I might add, the real opponent of the Democratic Party. If your lust for an Obama nomination out ways his ability to win a general election then you doom this whole nation to a third Bush term.

    April 4, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Reality check #1

    I don't agree with McCain, but unfortunatly he is all I have to vote for if Clinton does not get the nomination. I would write in Satin before voting for Obama.

    April 4, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. c desilva

    I thought the press and the journalists are unbiased and their duty is to present facts. But all they can do is coming out with negative comments or emphazising on them only on Hillary. Are they scared if they say something negative on Obama it will see as a racial comment? Then we cannot do the right thing, right and wrong has no colour barriers. If I take my children to the church & make them listen to hatred comments over and over I do not think I would have used my sound judgement . I would be worried what type of angry feelings that would instill on my kids minds. But do not voice it , it is a racial comment... What kind of future are we looking for??

    April 4, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. Kevin Major

    I'm a republican voter and a USMC Vietnam Veteran. Anyone who thinks John McCain is "just" a POW, has obviously been locked in a cave over the last 30+ years. He has, as Bill Clinton said , "given almost all of what he could, to our country".

    I will vote for Obama this year, because I think he can really bring us together. I'm not afraid of his policies because I have enough faith in our system to know he can't live on an island.

    April 4, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. Helen

    Jermaine, I find it hard to believe you are an officer in the Army. Don't officers have to have some command of the English language? Also, if you really are in the Army (officer or enlisted) you should be ashamed of yourself for trivializng Senator McCain's time in a POW camp. No member of the military would ever say another member "conveniently" spent 5 years in a POW camp. If you are in the Army, please think about separating–they need men of honor.

    April 4, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. Darth

    I am no Mccain supporter but exactly where does Hillary get her experience from. BEING FIRST LADY, GUCKING SNIPER FIRE, HERE 7 YEARS OF BEING IN THE SENATE, OR MAYBE JUST MAYBE BECUASE SHE SAY IT'S SO. Like I said before I am no MCcain supporter but he has more experience and real experience coming out the wazoo. But at this time in our country we need a new vision a fresh face, a way out of Iraq, to talk with our enemies and see if we can find a common ground. It's time to walk softly and talk smartly and give our big stick a break. We have our military if we need them but we need to change our tactics. Yes we are taking a chance on Barak H Obama but we need to try something new. And we all know he has more brains then George W Bush, A better and fresher outlook on the world the John S MCcain, More integrity the then Hillary R Clinton,

    (OBAMA / anyone) but Hillary or MCcain 06

    April 4, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. Ian

    Maybe that exlains why Ron Paul receives the most donations from our military than the other candidates combined. Grab a clue, our troops want to come home!!

    April 4, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
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