April 8th, 2008
08:00 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain campaign says Obama team's apology falls short

Rockefeller apologized to McCain Tuesday.
Rockefeller apologized to McCain Tuesday.

(CNN) – John McCain’s campaign said an apology from Barack Obama’s team for comments from West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who supports the Illinois senator’s presidential bid, were not enough, calling for a response from the candidate himself.

“It was a spokesperson. Just as with the situation with liberal attack artist Ed Schultz, Obama refused to reject the statements personally. It’s a trend that undermines Barack Obama’s credibility when he makes calls for a ‘new’ more ‘accountable’ debate,” said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.

The Obama campaign and Rockefeller both apologized Tuesday afternoon for his comments about the presumptive Republican nominee’s war record in a West Virginia paper.

“Senator Obama has a deep respect for Senator McCain’s service to this country and doesn’t agree with what Senator Rockefeller said,” said Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

Rockefeller’s Senate office released a statement by the senator that said he regretted the comment. “I have deep respect for John McCain’s honorable and noble service to our country. I made an inaccurate and wrong analogy and I have extended my sincere apology to him.

“While we differ a great deal on policy issues, I profoundly respect and appreciate his dedication to our country, and I regret my very poor choice of words.”

At virtually the same moment, the McCain camp charged that his comments were “more than a coincidence that Obama campaign surrogates are making character attacks against John McCain without any repudiation.”

“Barack Obama’s silence is giving his surrogates a license to make attacks that don’t contribute to the dialogue on the issues,” said Bounds.

“As long as people affiliated with Barack Obama’s new brand of politics continue to make gutter attacks, we are going to call on Barack Obama to do something about it. And so far he’s done nothing.”


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (319 Responses)
  1. Glen

    Please would the B.O. groupies remember this blog. Paste it in your diaries because if he wins the Dem. nomination and the kitchen gets hot with Republicans turning on the heat – don't cry foul. Grin and bear it because he started this through his supporters.

    April 8, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. Jesica Lange

    OBAMA IS THE ONE WHO SHOULD APOLOGIZE FOR:

    * Lying about being a college professor when he was only an instructor.
    * Not holding one single hearing on Afghanistan when he was leading that comission because" I was too busy running for president" – irresponsible!
    * Saying that being pregnant is "being punished with a baby"
    * Having the "audacity" to run for president when his record as a senator has been below average. – His "fans" can't even mention one, ONE! significant achievement.
    * Faking it as a great speecher when he can't give a 5 minute speech without a tele prompter.
    * Copying all of H Clinton's ideas and platfform.

    April 8, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. Snafu

    Obama does not have to apologize for someone in which he has notcontrol over. America are you that weak ? Not you America who was standing behind Bush on invading a sovereign nation and killing innocent people. Not you America who stands by and let the foreigners invade your government. You cannot fall for the old bait and switch with this media propoganda.

    Wait, I thougt MCWARMONGER said he was tough. If he claims to be tough then this is a non issue, but then someone needs to take his old arse to the old folks home and let him rest.

    April 8, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. jay North

    McCain bombed peasants and innocent folks. He was lucky he was not killed when caught. Why does being in a POW camp qualify you as President? He is a dim bulb.

    April 8, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. Stacy

    I agree with Oscar, Rio Vista, CA.

    Rockefeller was wrong it what he said but why does Obama need to apologize?

    This was no attempt to smear McCain's record or service. Rockefeller was upset and made a stupid comment. Rockefeller apologized – end of story.

    April 8, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. John

    This whole "apologize" for something that someone in the campaign has said about another politician is becoming Pythonesque. How bout a Ministry of Silly Statements to alleviate the daily duties of apologies and disclaimers?

    April 8, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. big easy

    Obama runs a very gutter campaign. He sends his surrogates to do his dirty work. Disgusting!

    Words are just words. I dislike Obama not because of his color but because of the man he is NOT.

    Hillary 2008 because Integrity matters, because experience matters, because vision matters, because intelligence matters and because leadership matters.

    April 8, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  8. debra

    I think it is diningenuous to let your flunkys do the dirty Work.

    April 8, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. Gary in Washington

    This apology is meaningless. Every now and then, the true gut feelings, the deeply held beliefs, and the core principles of a politician slip out, freudian style. This apology does not erase the FACT that democats like Senator Rockefeller, Representative Murtha, and others are ANTI-PATRIOTS who view our fine uniformed men and women through a lens of disdain.

    April 8, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  10. Mary Sue

    McCain needs to toughen up. Isn't dropping bombs part of a Navy pilots job description? Doesn't McCain fit the definition of a warmonger? Did he or did he not use the phrase "100 years in Iraq"?

    Sounds like McCain can't handle the truth.

    April 8, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  11. Obama Oreo

    Kick whitey out the courtroom in Atlanta, kick whitey off the blogs in Atlanta huh?

    April 8, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  12. ho tc

    Obama is a coward.

    When McCain's supporter used Obama's Middle Name, McCain came out the next day and apologized.
    Obama's supporters have been slamming McCain and Clintons, playing the bad cop, while Obama himself is playing a good cop.

    April 8, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. Jocely

    The McCain campagne need to talk about what hurting the American people instead they acting like cry babies.

    Jocely,

    North Carolina

    April 8, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. ***AMERICAN***

    This is standard D.C. BS. What do you expect from a person in POLITICS.

    Let's look at the word "POLITICS."

    POLI = Greek for "many"

    TICS = Blood sucker

    So, Politics = Many Blood Suckers.

    Works for me.

    April 8, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. cnn #1 fan

    You people don't get it!!!

    Are you people that ignorant??

    Obama preaches new politics, but how can he do that when he himself is playing the dirty games????

    YOU POEPLE DEFEND HIM REGARDLESS.....

    IF HE SAYS IT, you people say the media and everyone else is picking on him but if HILLARY would've said it you call her a LIAR, CHEATER ETC ETC,.....
    SAME SITUATION..... YOU OBAMA SUPPORTERS ARE IN FOR IT AND ARE STUPID, period.

    April 8, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. Sinbad

    McCain it is not like he called you the C word.

    April 8, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. Scared of Obama supporters

    Reading the comments by Obama supporters, I'm scared. Obama's supporters are not rational and very aggressive. And they use the most abusive language. What happens with them? Be civilized.

    April 8, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. CHERYL

    GOOD FOR McCAIN!
    OBAMA IS A COWARD!
    HE HAS OTHERS DO HIS DIRTY WORK!!!!
    HE LIES AND MISLEADS THE PEOPLE DAILY!!!!
    I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE ARE STILL FALLING FOR IT!

    THIS IS EXACTLY WHY OBAMA CANNOT WIN IN NOVEMBER!!!

    ALL THE WRIGHT CONTROVERSY WILL COME UP AND THE NAFTA LIES!!!

    I AM SURE THERE WILL BE MORE BY THEN!!!!!

    I AM VOTING FOR HILLARY CLINTON!!!!!!!

    April 8, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  19. KE

    For a long time no one could point out how divisive Obama campaign have been. Obama and Obama campign used languages that were divisive and misleading public.

    I don't know what Mark Penn could have done differently with Hillary. Hillary recieved all the negative coverage before. America was never faced serious woman candidate before. No one could predict how the public will react.

    We are more used to watch men in command and men go negative against each other but not many women, although many women have proven to be the power behind many men.

    I think some people rejected women acting different from norm in the biginning but people are lot more comfortable with Hillary now than then.

    April 8, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  20. Morgan, chicago, IL

    McCain murdered people in Vietnam. What's to apologize for ? He went over seas and slaughtered people in their own country in another war based on lies and deception, and when the "enemy" captured him, he was released alive eventually. He was a brave man, but he is a murderer. Orphans grew up in shattered families who's fathers & mothers were killed by McCain in a pointless conflict.

    April 8, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  21. Jen in CA

    Asking someone to apologize for saying McCain is a WARMONGER is like asking someone to apologize for saying Obama is BLACK or that Hillary is a WOMAN!!! Sometimes the facts are just the facts...

    April 8, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  22. Samantha

    Obama does not need to apologize, people have to take responsibility for their own action and what comes out of their mouth. Come on McCain, the guy who made the comment apologized and so did Obama' camp. Barack shouldn't have to personally apologize....get out of here. You know what, I need an apology from McCain and his camp for this B.S.

    April 8, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  23. Martin

    McMuppet is on thin ice here: he sings "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" and thinks that's hilarious. And then he gets upset when people call him a warmonger! It's amazing how such an old man can still throw his toys out of the pram whenever someone says something nasty. Boo hoo!

    April 8, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. Karen P - Branson

    Oh, for God's sake, Obama already denounced the statement, apologies. Did McCain take whining lessons from Hillary?

    April 8, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. lol

    they say hillary is the negative one on the attack. it seems like obama via his surrogates are the ones always attacking hillary & mccain. america is seeing obama for what he is a typical politician, just like the rest of them.

    April 8, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
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