June 30th, 2008
10:24 AM ET
6 years ago

McCain campaign: Clark's comments 'sad'

 Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who ran for president in 2004, has questioned Sen. John McCain's qualifications.
Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who ran for president in 2004, has questioned Sen. John McCain's qualifications.

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain's campaign on Monday called retired Gen. Wesley Clark's remarks that McCain lacks command experience "the lowest form of politics."

Clark, a military adviser for Sen. Barack Obama, questioned Sunday whether McCain's military experience qualified him to be commander in chief.

The McCain campaign has called on Obama to condemn the comments.

"I think it's kind of sad," McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said Monday on CNN's "American Morning."

Full story


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. D.Johnson

    It was Bush and the republican party that long question Mccain's military records in 2000. Where was the media then? It is truth that mccain made propaganda tapes for the enemy and he said in his book he was very sad about that. Clerk said the right thing. It is truth that serving in the military is not the only qualifications to be president.

    June 30, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Chuck, Democrats United We Stand

    After having served my country for nearly 22 years active duty, I must agree with the statement that having served does not qualify one to be commander in chief. If that was the fact, then there are millions of Americans that are qualifed to be the President.
    Qaulifications include reasonable thinking, sticking to the truth no matter how much it hurts, being focused, the ability to make a stand and not flip floping because it is obvious that the American people do not agree or support your stand. The ability to refrain from pandering just to get the votes. The ability to surround your self with those that know and understand that which you do not. There are many reasons that John McCain is NOT qualified.

    June 30, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. Ryan

    For the Obama camp to attack on John McCain' service to this country is truly pathetic. The sky over North Vietnam was one of the most heavily defended airspace in the history of warfare. It took a lot of grit to fly into that wall of steel and fire. Obama should immediately apology for the shameful comments by Clark.

    June 30, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. Drew, Central FL

    Figures. The GOP is ok with the "swiftboating" when they are the ones doing it. Guess they don't like how their own medicine tastes. What a bunch of wussies.

    June 30, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. Charles

    Good for you Jeff......then since you are not voting, kindly leave this message board. these discussion are for real americans who vote, not wine and moan. If you think you can do better, why don't you run..........................................I didn't think so

    June 30, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. Tammy - KCMO

    I think they were honest and something everyone has been thinking. No apologies necessary.

    June 30, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. Obama 08: Female, 60, white

    Clark didn't attack his military record; he merely stated that nothing McCain has done gives him the proven leadership credentails to be commander in chief. Instead of attacking Obama, why doesn't he just lay out the decisions he has made that would dismiss Clark's comments??

    June 30, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. Rich In Seattle

    McCain is such a hypocrite! Either he is stupid or just too old to know the difference.

    Plus, on the idea that he will be the better one to respond to a terrorist attack, may I remind everyone that Osama Bin Ladin is still out there free. Laughing at us because we did exactly what he wanted us to do. The Middle-East trains more terrorists now than they did before. We have no support in the world to deal with the threats against us. I think we’ve had enough of the Republicans only hiring their own over more qualified Democrats. I think we’ve had enough of fear and lies. Frankly, we’ve had more than enough.

    June 30, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  9. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    Mccain Has Had Many Experiences But Still Lacks Judgement! I Agree With Clark!

    June 30, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. J

    Clark was right on with his comments. If the guy can't take criticism then back it up with facts.

    June 30, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. Carnie

    Bill Clinton can not come to grips with the fact that he was beaten, badly by a young upstart. Barack's campaign has been one of the most exciting campaigns I've seen in my life.

    I love the fact that he actually made Hillary campaign after Super Tuesday. She was all set to relax and put her feet up and watch the coronation process begin, and along comes Barack with 11 straight wins. I loved it.

    So, pardon me if I laugh at the fact that now Hillary is begging for money, and of all things, my money. She had the choice to leave the campaign trail when she knew it was mathematically impossible for her to win, but she didn't. It is for that reason that I will not give any more money to the DNC, until Hillary has paid her debt, like other Americans have to.

    Also, Bill is still sulking when he needs to get out there and campaign for Bararck. He's having a little trouble because unless people are campaigning for him or Hillary, he doesn't want to play. Sad.

    June 30, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. PS from Tennessee

    Please Google Barack's speech regarding entering into a war with Iraq. EVERYTHING that Barack said in that speech was true, and has happened. He does have the judgement to lead this Country! "W" has zero judgement and McBush is not any better.

    June 30, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  13. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Clark's comments are more of an indictment against Obama than McCain. If McCain's expereince doesn't qualify him to be President, then how does Obama's significantly less experience? Obama has done NOTHING in his short and undistinguished time in the Senate or before to show he has any qualifications. It is amazing that so many people just buy the 'change' line without thinking about what kind of change they would get.

    June 30, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. WendyB, NC

    I don't think General Clark is demeaning or questioning McCain's military service but questioning his thoughts that his military service makes him a more qualified candidate to become Commander in Chief. If that is the case, then how did George Bush, Bill Clinton, George W Bush, Ronald Reagan, Carter, Nixon and Johnson become president. I don't think because I work in the office as a Technical Lead makes me qualified to be the President of the company. What's makes a good leader is the one who would lead us to victory and not make us victims to attacks. I want a leader who will talk with our enemies and not want to drop bombs on them and keep the hatred going on for generations to come.

    June 30, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. Ian

    It's laughable that the Republicans are calling this the "lowest form of politics," when they called Mr. Purple Heart Kerry a faker. Please. They just got their panties in bunches because Gen. Wes Clark is a proven war hero and, ahem, the former supreme allied commander of NATO. Mccain, and none of the VP possibilities for his tanking campaign can touch that, sorry.

    June 30, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. LaShanda

    McCain's service is honorable, however, service in the military is not required to be President. There are MANY ways to serve your country. I applaud Barack's plan for college students. If you want money for college, you serve your community. I totally agree with that! That is just ONE way of helping America.

    June 30, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  17. carlo

    If being a POW makes you qualified to be President, let me get on the phone and call my uncle. He was a POW and HE says that he would NEVER vote for a POW because he KNOWS that he is unstable. This is insane. McCain is NOT the only POW in America, and he wants everyone to bow down to him while he refuses to honor the veterans who are serving by voting for the GI bill. The problem with McCain is that he's so self-centered he doesn't think that anyone suffered in Vietnam more than he did. At least he returned in one piece. There are soldiers coming back severely injured, missing limbs, etc.

    I'm personally sick of McCain calling for Obama to constantly renounce and repudiate everything someone says, yet he proclaims that he can't "referee" everything someone says about Obama or his family during this campaign. What a loser.

    June 30, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. LATINO FOR OBAMA

    Mr. Rick Davis, what Wes said is nod Sad...it's the "TRUTH."

    McLies own site is now confirming that this is true ;)

    June 30, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. hank

    Thank you Clark. It's true. Someone had to say it, we all appreciate Mccain's service to his country, but just because he was a POW doesn't mean he will be POTUS. Mccain acts like no one can say a word about it, ever.

    June 30, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  20. disgusted

    You know what's sad......McCains history as a pilot. I just read some pretty interesting items about the # of planes he lost as well as lives (ie: USS Forrestal), meetings that he was involved in several years ago with families of POW/MIAs when he was on the committee (it's all documented), and also his treatment while a POW (his captors nicknamed him the "crown prince" because of his fathers position.)Not to mention his temper......

    It can't all be wrong.......and I for one wouldn't trust him with his finger on the "red button": Someones ticks him off...and it's all over. Experience as a POW doesn't mean anything in the big picture. He was a pilot....when you lead brigades of men and women into combat then you can say that your ready, militarily speaking, to be the commander and chief. Until then, talk about something that you know about.

    June 30, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. Jeff D

    Some you posting here are ignorant. If Obama has half a brain (which I doubt) he would condemn Clark's comments. The LAST thing Obama wants to do is get into a debate about who would make a better Commander in Chief. My 6 year old has the same credentials as Obama.

    June 30, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. John McCain-McFlip-Flop-McBush is no "maverick"

    So someone finally speaks the truth about McSham's war record and NOW they want to defend it as sacrosanct? Typical Rethuglican drivel about being a soldier makes you more of a patriot and immune to any criticism. If that were the case, John Kerry should have been our president.

    June 30, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. don in naples, florida

    My thoughts exactly, thank you Mr. Clark. Mccain seems to act like he is "entitled" to the presidential office simply because he has seen military service, because we are in a time of war, and because he is playing on the same old politics of old that have proven to be very effective at getting into office.

    June 30, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. Rob Wells

    Here's what's sad. Not to take anything away from McCain's amazing military record, but just because you bagged grocieries after school as a teenager, doesn't qualify you to run the store today. Executive command is a totally different ball game than kicking the tires and lighting the fires. Gen. Clark nailed this one right to the wall.

    June 30, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. Alice in Florida

    And just what EXACTLY qualifies Obama for the Presidency? His experience as a community organizer???????? His ability to vote "present?" His cowardice over debating and town hall meetings??? His ability to read a pre-written speech????? The fact that he wears a helmet when he rides a bike??????

    June 30, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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