April 8th, 2008
12:05 PM ET
7 years ago

McCain camp calls on Obama to denounce 'smear'

 McCain's campaign called Rockefeller's remark an 'insult' to veterans.
McCain's campaign called Rockefeller's remark an 'insult' to veterans.

(CNN) – John McCain's campaign called on Barack Obama Tuesday to condemn a comment from one of his Senate supporters that the presumptive Republican nominee, a naval aviator during the Vietnam War, "was a fighter pilot who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit."

"What happened when they [the missiles] get to the ground?" Sen. Jay Rockefeller said in an interview published in Tuesday's Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette. "He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues."

The McCain campaign issued a statement from supporter Orson Swindle, who called Rockefeller’s remarks a “smear against John McCain's character and military record” and called on Obama to denounce the "insult to all the men and women who are serving or have served in America's military."

"Had Senator Rockefeller served himself, he would appreciate and understand that most who have been to war emerge with a much deeper concern for humanity than they otherwise might," said the former Marine lieutenant colonel. "If he knew what he was talking about, he would know that John McCain wasn't dropping laser-guided missiles at 35,000 feet in 1967."

Swindle was a prisoner of war in Vietnam with McCain.

This is the second time in four days the McCain campaign has called on Obama to condemn comments by a fellow Democrat.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (215 Responses)
  1. Tim

    Can you say desperate? McCain is a such a tool. Why dont you just denounce him, why does Obama have to do anything at all?

    April 8, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Concerned Humanitarian

    May the world resound with glee over our humanitarian efforts in Iraq.

    April 8, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. Marc

    Keep talking Rockefeller. Your family history of starting Wars from corporate monopoly positions in Standard Oil and more give your remarks zero credibility.

    WWI and WWII and Federal Reserve/Great Depression manipulation all come to mind.

    April 8, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. Oh! The Irony

    So Obama is responsible for the words of every self-professed Democrat?

    April 8, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. Alice

    Um ... what does Sen. Rockefellar's comment have to do with Obama?

    April 8, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  6. McCain Clinton 08

    Awe, is McCain's getting his adult diapers in a bunch?

    April 8, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. Carl from Pa

    You can't hold Obama responcible for every comment one of his supporters says. It is obvious Obama doesn't agree with these types of commments. There is a big difference between this and when you had to denouce certain comments by a radio talk show host. Plus this type of politics is typical of republicans – you just don't want a taste of your own medicine.

    April 8, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. brad

    hey John. Why don't you just go to Jay's face and tell him yourself. Not like Obama is holding his hand.

    April 8, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. Mike

    It is amazing that United flight 93 with the heros that sacrificed and took down this plane in Shanksville are being dishonored by Obama's presence in that state. They lost their lives to protect the capital from being hit by that plane and Obama wants to be in that very same capital as president when he and his church blame America for 9/11.

    In only 7 years we have already forgotten our fallen countrymen. What a disgrace.

    April 8, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. sozzi

    It's time the democrats stand and fight like the republicans, even if it's dirty. Tell them like it is Mr. Rockefeller.

    April 8, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  11. Steve in DC

    My God! Enough already with the denouncements! Why dont you concentrate on the guy who actually said it???!!!

    April 8, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. Darryl

    The truth should not hurt. McCain know the type of person he is he has never fought for the military.............

    April 8, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. PMC

    This is so "typical" of Obama. Everybody is the bad guy but him. No matter what he says, does or to whom he has ties with or represents. We are tired of his smear tactics against Clinton and now McCain. And the mainstream media is going right along with him. Enough! This is a candidate that stated in 2006, "I do not have enough experience to run for President." And it is the only thing he has ever stated that it 100% correct. Additionally, if Democrat voters and Super Delegates do not wise up, we will lose in November. Only Clinton carries Florida, Ohio Pennsylvania and Michigan. As far as the main stream media, they also needed to be remideed that Obama supporters are still a minor segement of their total viewers, and the other viewers are slipping everyday as we try and find other media outlets that are more fair an not biased. And as far as Ohio and Florida now being ignored by these Obama media networks, let's see what they have to say on Election night in November. I feel certain it will be as it always has been,
    "Let's watch and see if Florida and Ohio turn red or blue." And if it is Obama, they will be blue. It does still matter.

    April 8, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. Stephen Lindsey

    Oh no, John. Slowly over the next few months I see a constant flow of lttle tidbits exposing the real John McCain.

    April 8, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. pa voter

    well, i see obama's supporters know about as much as he does. i am not a mccain supporter, but this is getting out of hand. i have a lot of respect for any man or woman who fights in a war for this country. i guess obama has about as much respect for them as he does for this country.

    April 8, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. Johny

    I do not understand why the McCain campaign allways call Obama to denounce, even if the speaker denies any link to the Obama campaign. This is not cleaned as the McCain campaign want us to consider them. Is it because some one supports a candidate, then everything he says is on the responsibility of his candidate? I suspect that manipulation aims to destroy the chances of Obama to be the nominee. And they know that with Hillary, McCain will win!
    Go Obama 08!

    April 8, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  17. wwf

    I am an Obama supporter. Swindel is way out of line. McCain was doing his job plain and simple. McCain is someone who should be honored for his duty to this country, just like all of the others that served with him. He is not the only hero. They all were and are.I would hope that Mr. Obama will make a statement on this. I was opposed to the war in Vietnam, just as I am to the war in Iraq. My opposition however was and is to the government, not the fighting men and women. Odd how these two wars seem so similar to me. Oh, I know. It is called a lie.

    April 8, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. mitch from ark.

    obama shouldn't have to condemn everything ,everyone says ,that the mccain campaign doesn't agree with.if he did ,he'd have no time to campaign .mccain has plenty of time ,right now,to answer these "attacks" on his military career,and shouldn't expect obama to defend him everytime someone says something controversial.if he's a strong enough candidate for the presidency,he should prove it,by responding to his critics himself.

    April 8, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. Powered by the People

    War is hell on all, even our solders. Time to bring them home and send them to the real fight in Afgan and Paki.

    That will send a real message.

    America has won the war in Iraq
    Iraq will have a civil War, to reach that greater peace.

    Peace is the result of knowing,, the war...

    April 8, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. Please

    Enough is enough...every other day, one campaign wants another to "denounce" something somebody has said. I have never seen anything like it. First of all, if the comment is coming from the candidate themselves, then I don't see why they should be held responsible. This election is becoming childish.

    April 8, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. PMC

    OOPS! If it is Obama, they turn RED. As in Repbublican! Obama will lose the General Election.
    And Pennsylvania it too smart to vote for Obama. He has totally underestimated Pennsylvania voters intelligence!

    April 8, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. Ratgurl

    I'm not a McCain supporter, but even I know that you can't attack a soldier for doing his job. McCain performed his duties commendibly and he should be treated no less than the soldier he is.

    That said, I don't believe having survived a war makes one qualified for the position of POTUS. I don't think he should be president, but I gratefully thank John for his service to our country.

    April 8, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  23. mitch from ark.

    obama shouldn't have to condemn everything ,everyone says ,that the mccain campaign doesn't agree with.if he did ,he'd have no time to campaign .mccain has plenty of time ,right now,to answer these "attacks" on his military career,and shouldn't expect obama to defend him everytime someone says something controversial.if he's a strong enough candidate for the presidency,he should prove it,by responding to his critics himself.

    April 8, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. wwf

    Senior moment, I mean Rockefeller. If he was any type of a person, he would aplogize himself for saying it in the first place.

    April 8, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. Cathy

    Thank you John Mc Cain for what you did do during the Viet Nam War. You have a clear understanding of what our service men and women face each day for our freedom.

    April 8, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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