April 8th, 2008
12:05 PM ET
6 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. rumpusgoopus

    I read a disparaging post from a right-wing blog about Obama the other day. McCain must denounce!

    April 8, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. Blake

    Dear McCain,

    I am writing you to ask for a denouncement of yourself. I am sure that the Iranian women and children do not understand your humanitarian expression of "bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran". They are left confused and bewildered. Please take this message to heart.

    Sincerely,
    Concerned Humanitarian

    April 8, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. Darth Vadik, CA

    McCain is such a warmonger with his "straight (circular, around the war) talk", this guy has actually said (I'm paraphrasing) "there will be more wars, I will need you to enlist".

    WHAT?

    IF YOU LOOK FORWARD TO WARS, YOU WILL MAKE THEM.

    Myself, I will chose someone who doesn't look forward to war.

    April 8, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  4. Okra Mouth

    In the bible, even though God loved David, God did not allow David to lead his people in building His Temple.
    The reason God gave was because, His temple represents peace, and David was a man of war, and his hands had shed too much blood.

    In a similar way, I admire all our soldiers, but I don't think the leader of such a great country promoting PEACE IN THE WORLD should be a man of war like McCain, whose hands has shed human blood.

    Sorry McCain, I don't think soldiers, especially Bomber Pilots like you…. should run for president.

    What Sen. Rockefeller said was true, and there is nothing to apologize for.
    His comment does not mean all soldiers should be hated.

    April 8, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. Fernandez

    I do not know why CNN gives this guy the time of day, look at this ticker
    nohting but garbage. Does anyone in politics talk about the economy, ways to bring down the price of oil and the weak dollar.

    April 8, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. JimNJ

    Obama should, without a doubt, denounce to comments against MCcain. But if he does, his money supply will dry up! What you see is not what you get with Obama. I can see what he is but many can't. He is a Slick Willy! He will not even responde to Florida or Michigan because he doesn't stand to gain anything. He is a typical politician. No different than any other. So....there goes his platform of change and a different politics. Yeah Right!

    Clinton 08. At least with Cliinton what you see is what you get.

    Go Boomer!

    April 8, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Phil Greene

    McCain dropped napalm bombs from the relative safety of his jet and returned to his carrier until he was shot down. Nothing heroic about that and being a POW is not heroic either. Napalming civilians from the air is ignoble, not heroic. Some war hero.

    April 8, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. Mark

    Hey Andy...I never asked you to go to Iraq. In fact, I didn't even want you to go. So tell my why I should be grateful for your actions. It's like someone claiming they did you a favor that you never wanted in the first place. I'm glad that you love this country so much that you have become blind and a puppet. Congratulations...oh, and thank you.

    April 8, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. Debby

    The Obama campaign is really getting down in the mud lately with all these un-American comments about McCain and his war record. Meanwhile Obama has never even been to Iraq to visit the troops like McCain and Senator Clinton have. Being patriotic is not one of Obama's strong qualities.

    April 8, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. IDonotseeanywrongwiththiscomment

    I do not beleive Sen. Jay Rockefeller is making this up, why does Obama have to denounce this comment, why should he trust Mccain's word from Sen. Jay Rockefeller word, and why is this an "insult to all the men and women who are serving or have served in America's military." This is about Mccain character , Mccain is a warmonger. He does not care about the lives of people

    April 8, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. denis

    This 'concern for humanity' is 100% phony! WAR IS HELL ! However, people who fall in love with the idea of killing people with immunity raise to the top of the ladder and some even run for the leader of the most powerful nation on the planet!
    The war in Iraq is RELIGIOUS not terrorists.
    denis

    April 8, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. BSY

    Great idea ~ stop "smearing" and "insulting" all those who serve or who have served in our military with distinction! Now, go to the biography of Rev Wright and read about his military service and his record ~ and all the McCain and Clinton campaign leaders and surrogates can finally HUSH!

    April 8, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. Darth Vadik, CA

    Lets just give the presidency to McCain, I mean he has earned it, being a POW and a naval aviator, he has earned it.
    Somebody tell that to Hillary and Barack and the rest of the US.
    We don't need to vote.
    If you know how to fly a plane and endure 5 years of toture we should just give you the presidency despite lack of judgment for the whole congress career.

    April 8, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. Sandra Day

    Why should Obama denounce anything someone else says, this is America and we do have freedom of speech here or has that been taken away. You can always tell when desperation is setting in. Get over it McCain or confront Rockefeller yourself, Senator to Senator, why put Obama in the middle of your displeasure. Fight your own battles McCain.

    April 8, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  15. black & proud

    McBUSH IS A HYPOCRITE AND A TRUE DEFINITION FOR A WAR MONGER. THE VETERANS WHO FOLLOW POLITICS CAN'T BE FOOLED WITH THESE ATTACKS FROM THE REPUBLICANS. DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND CHECK HIS VOTING RECORD ON BEHALF OF THESE VETERANS. ENOUGH OF THESE CANDIDATES RUNNING OFF SENIORITY

    April 8, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  16. Oh, Give me a BREAK!!!

    McCain, do you hold Obama responsible for everything anyone from his party says? Good lord, man, get a grip! The fact that you're so brittle about the things this idiot (Rockefeller) said makes me wonder just how good your judgement is.

    One only has to look at your record to know that you spent years in a North Viet Namese prison camp, getting beaten and tortured. The 35,000 foot line from this idiot's speech shows is complete and utter lack of understanding of the situation (and a small point here..bombs weren't laser guided in Viet Nam).

    My only question is why the press is giving this dolt any air time. What an absolute nincompoop.

    Don't ask Obama to denounce this clown. It's like asking the major of a town to denounce the village idiot. If you demand apologies and denouncements over silliness like this, it will reflect very poorly on you.

    April 8, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. Phil

    Johny – Did you bother to read the story in the Charleston Gazette. Rockefeller committed this act of extreme ignorance while he was endorsing Obama. He's a US Senator, a superdelagate, so how can you claim he has no link to the Obama campaign? What do you think the Obama people would do if a McCain supporter came out and made a big deal about Obama's middle name ... Oh wait! That did happen and the Obama people threw a fit and McCain denounced him. Now its Obama's turn, let's see if he does the right thing.

    April 8, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Noah

    JAY ROCKEFELLER IS A SENATOR AND A COLLEAGUE TO BOTH McCAIN AND OBAMA. HE JUST HAPPENS TO BE A SUPPORTER OF OBAMA AND NOT McCAIN.
    OBAMA CANNOT MUZZLE HIM AND OBAMA IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WORDS OF ANY OF THE SENATOR WHO DISAGREE WITH McCAIN. HE IS NOT A CAMPAIGN
    STAFFER SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN.

    April 8, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. Jose'

    Obama will not denounce anything.

    He has no spine.

    He has no convictions.

    He wanders which ever way his leftist leash holders tell him too.

    April 8, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Not a Republican

    Bless MCcain and his service to our country but stop whineing about every little thing, this is crazy. Obama did not say it...He does not have to do anything. Stick to the issues and stop crying about somebody's oppinion.

    April 8, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. Adam

    I Denounce Obama! Go AWAY!

    April 8, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. lol

    obama has all his surrogates do his dirty work for him, so he doesn't get his hands dirty with all the mud slinging his campaign does.

    April 8, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. Bill Dayton, Ohio

    Why is it that John McCain cries every time anyone who knows Senator Obama makes a statement about his past? Is this the kind of toughness he displayed while a POW? I hope not, because we may not know the WHOLE story. By the way, I thought that in order to be eligible to seek the office of president one must be born in the USA. Where was John McCain born? Anyone answer please.

    April 8, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. Dylan

    Wow! This is the "intellectual" criticism of a United States Senator. Laser guided bombs in 1967?? Mr. Rockafeller, if you can't think of something remotely TRUE to criticize someone about, perhaps you should keep your mouth shut?

    It's so ridiculous, it's funny. (and I see most commentators here don't care if what Sen Rockafeller said was untrue, so long as it's against their "opponent" lol) So many sheep in this country...

    April 8, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. John Smith

    As a Catholic, I will continue to say the Rosary for anyone who votes for Hillary. Great nations such as the Roman Empire, fell because of lack of "morality, integrity, lies and so on." These types of moral issues are more important than "wealth." With all their wealth, the Clintons cannot fund their campaign?

    April 8, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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