(CNN) - Charlie Black, a senior adviser to John McCain, said Monday he "deeply regrets" his comments to Fortune Magazine suggesting a terrorist attack on the United States would benefit the Arizona senator's presidential campaign.
"They were inappropriate," Black told reporters at a fundraising event, according to a pool report. "I recognize that John McCain has devoted his entire life to protecting his country.”
In the Fortune Magazine interview, posted on the magazine's Web site Monday, Black said that the Arizona senator demonstrated his fluency in foreign policy and security matters following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December of last year.
Asked if McCain would stand to benefit from a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Black answered: “Certainly it would be a big advantage to him.”
A McCain campaign official said Black does not explicitly remember saying the comment, but does not dispute it. According to the official, he was trying to emphasize that McCain is favored on national security issues.
UPDATE: Barack Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton called Black's comments a "disgrace."
“The fact that John McCain’s top advisor says that a terrorist attack on American soil would be a ‘big advantage’ for their political campaign is a complete disgrace, and is exactly the kind of politics that needs to change," Burton said in a statement. "Barack Obama will turn the page on these failed policies and this cynical and divisive brand of politics so that we can unite this nation around a common purpose to finish the fight against al Qaeda."