June 23rd, 2008
03:45 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain criticizes adviser's terrorism comments

McCain adviser Charlie Black.
McCain adviser Charlie Black.

FRESNO, California (CNN) - Sen. John McCain distanced himself Monday from comments made by a senior campaign adviser suggesting that McCain would stand to benefit politically from a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

In an interview with Fortune magazine, McCain senior adviser Charlie 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.

Bhutto’s killing, Black said, was an “unfortunate event.” But, he argued, McCain’s “knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who's ready to be Commander-in-Chief. And it helped us."

Asked if McCain would stand to benefit from a terrorist attack on the United States, Black answered: “Certainly it would be a big advantage to him.”

Campaigning in California, McCain shook his head when asked by CNN about Black’s comments.

“I cannot imagine why he would say it,” he said at a press conference. “It’s not true. I’ve worked tirelessly since 9/11 to prevent another attack on the United States of America. My record is very clear.”

McCain cited his work on the Senate Armed Services Committee and his role in creating the 9/11 Commission in describing his efforts to stop terrorist attacks on American soil.

“If he said that, and I do not know the context, I strenuously disagree,” McCain said of Black.

On the day Bhutto was assassinated, McCain seemed to suggest the calamity could offer him some political benefit.

“I’m the one with the experience, the knowledge and the judgment," he told CNN's Dana Bash on December 27. "So perhaps it may serve to enhance those credentials.”


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. John Smith

    Please, please, let the "bitter" and uninformed (and racially motivated) Hillary supporters not vote for Obama; let them throw their votes at McCain and watch their dreams and hopes go down the drain!

    These "bitter" voters should not be encouraged or begged to vote for Obama. For the educated and informed DEM, the primaries have always been about:
    1. The party, not the candidate
    2. The issues, not the candidate (gender, race or otherwise)
    3. The White House, not the candidate

    This is about winning the White House, gaining control to address issues of interest to DEMS, if people cannot see this as the goal, please let them vote for McCain! Let this nonsense and baby-talk stop!

    June 23, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. Nick - Arlington, VA

    thats just sad....your not going to beat barack with fear...this isn't '04.

    June 23, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Annick, Washington DC

    It s too bad that it only takes some killing for them to start acting.

    June 23, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. What if?

    His own Campaign Camp........TELL THE TRUTH AND SHAME THE DEVIL...........McCain would stand to benefit politically from a terrorist attack on U.S. soul.

    June 23, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. USAF Staff Sergeant

    Oh great. That's the kind of people I want my president hanging around with. "Hmm maybe we can benefit from another terrorist attack......"

    June 23, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Knowing the Bush Crime Family they probably have sold secrets to OBL, to make sure the GOP win this election!

    June 23, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. JVD

    I HOPE THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT PREPARING AN ATTACK TO KILL US SO THAT THEY CAN USE IT TO GET ELECTED. I'M SO SCARED OF THESE REPUBLICANS. DISGUSTING DISGUSTING DISGUSTING.................

    June 23, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. Jim

    Bush mentality, this is how Bush won in 04, this is what the campaign people are used to over at the republican party, this year it slipped it seems, but in 04, there were alerts all over, just like before Dems took congress Bush tried the fear tactics warning about attacks.

    June 23, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. Michael

    Time to clean your committee McCain. Fire him as well as all of your oil-lobbying friends that advise you.

    June 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. CW4Barak

    Ha, ha....there you go, no wonder the McBushes are such warmongers....Bush benefitted from it and so will McSame....it is very clear that the Iraq war was waged for the economic benefit of Bush and Cheney and had nothing to do with the so called "war on terrorism"! John McBush you can't distance yourself from this one....Black has spoken and we are hearing him loud and clear!!

    June 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. skunkrat The Marine

    Forgive him, silly old man suggesting that DEATH & WAR are his areas of expertise.

    June 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. NoMcSame

    The only person around McSame to tell the truth and distansed himself from him. McSame is hoping for something like that to happen but the question is how would he spin it. Will he blame his dad Bush or use his time in Washington as the reason that he should be president to prevent such a thing.
    Obama08 with or without the PUMA people.

    June 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Grant Neubauer

    Well, it is very true that it would, but it is completely ridiculous for his adviser to mention it. Wow, talk about a slip up.

    P.S. Fifth line. It's not an attack on "U.S. soul," it should be "U.S. soil."

    June 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    People have to remeber McWar is cold, he is cold in his heart! You have to be droping Napalm on women and children. You have to be clod to do those kind of things. Not the type of president I want.

    Obama 08/12

    June 23, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. Ross, Brooklyn, NY

    We will not be scared into voting for McCain.

    June 23, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. Independent

    Maybe George Bush will orchestrate an attack on America, blame it on Al Qaida, to help his republican party win the White House yet again. His brother, Jebb Bush, stole Florida for him in 2000. They have done it before; they will do it again; so long as it advances their political agenda.

    June 23, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. Peter of Oregon

    Ahh... a little slip of the tongue... and the truth reveals itself.

    I'm looking forward to many more of these slips by McCain and his campaign, as he continues to lose his bearings, and his Straight Talk Express goes off the tracks during the next few months.

    June 23, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. Mary wa

    So would an attack on Iran. Wouldn't put anything past the Republican/corporate machine.

    June 23, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. Hammerhead

    Yeah, I can't imagine why he'd say it either. Except that maybe he thought it would get you some votes, McCain. Duh.

    P.S. Nice band-aids.

    June 23, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA

    WELL THERE IS A MAN THAT HAS BLOWN

    THE WARNING WHISTLE ABOUT THE

    REPUBLICAN MIND SET.

    IF WE HAD AN ATTACK HERE IT WOULD BE PROOF

    POSITIVE OF THE ADMINISTRATION'S & MCBUSH

    INCOMPETENCE IN THEIR HANDLING OF OUR SECURITY.

    AND BOTH WARS. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WOULD HAVE

    TO BE MORONIC IMBECILES NOT TO GET THAT.

    June 23, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. jen

    Opps McSame....Well at least this will keep Bush from needing to bomb Iran in October in an attempt to steal the election for the Repukes....

    June 23, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. lil

    It is a shame that someone would want to win so bad that they would
    wish for a torrorist attack so that innocent people can get hurt just to
    try and make a point and get votes. Mr Black You should be ashame
    of yourself.
    We expect you would say most anything to win but never that.

    June 23, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. Yasriel

    Charlie Black and McCame are showing their true color. For how long has Charlie profited from the blood of innocent people around the world? Now he is calling for the same fate on us.
    Time to say NO to FEAR and YESSSSSSS to HOPE!

    June 23, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  24. Brian, Pittsburgh

    Who's unpatriotic now?

    June 23, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  25. LB

    I guess McCain forgot to tell his advisors that what they discuss in private is not to be told to reporters. McCain may secrectly want another attach but the American people don't. So does that mean that McCain will knowingly try to provoke an attach from terrorists, just to try and prove a point that he is the next God? That man does like his wars.

    June 23, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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