(CNN)—Senator John McCain tends to follow the old adage “politics ends at the water's edge,” but his aides tell CNN they have every intention of continuing their attacks on Obama while the presumptive Democratic nominee is on his overseas trip.
When he was in Canada in June, McCain refused to talk about Obama - and CNN was told from top advisers that McCain got angry at campaign aides back at headquarters for sending emails hitting the Illinois senator while he was abroad.
But the McCain campaign considers Obama’s trip to Europe, Iraq and Afghanistan fair game. McCain aides says the Obama campaign and the DNC both set precedent for it, by attacking McCain while he was in Europe and the Middle East in March, and during his recent trips to Canada, Colombia and Mexico.
In an e-mail response to CNN, McCain spokesman Brian Rogers attached a list of quotes from Obama and DNC press releases during the presumptive Republican nominee’s trips, and said “we don’t feel there’s any restriction on drawing contrasts while he’s abroad.”
The trip has already drawn significant media coverage - so there’s no doubt the McCain campaign will be watching Obama very closely.
The campaign has already sharpened its argument in the past week, branding the presumptive Democratic nominee’s trip to Europe as a photo opportunity, and his visits to Afghanistan and Iraq campaign stops, not a fact finding missions, since Obama announced his policies before visiting.
“I was very interested that he articulated and announced his policies and approached Iraq before he went, not after. Remarkable,” Senator McCain told Missouri voters Thursday.
“I've been on a lot of trips around the world, usually at your expense, but I usually issue my policy statements when I get back.”