April 8th, 2008
12:05 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain camp calls on Obama to denounce 'smear'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/02/29/art.rock.gi.jpg caption=" McCain's campaign called Rockefeller's remark an 'insult' to veterans. "] (CNN) - John McCain's campaign called on Barack Obama Tuesday to condemn a comment from one of his Senate supporters that the presumptive Republican nominee, a naval aviator during the Vietnam War, "was a fighter pilot who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit."

"What happened when they [the missiles] get to the ground?" Sen. Jay Rockefeller said in an interview published in Tuesday's Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette. "He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues."

The McCain campaign issued a statement from supporter Orson Swindle, who called Rockefeller’s remarks a “smear against John McCain's character and military record” and called on Obama to denounce the "insult to all the men and women who are serving or have served in America's military."

"Had Senator Rockefeller served himself, he would appreciate and understand that most who have been to war emerge with a much deeper concern for humanity than they otherwise might," said the former Marine lieutenant colonel. "If he knew what he was talking about, he would know that John McCain wasn't dropping laser-guided missiles at 35,000 feet in 1967."

Swindle was a prisoner of war in Vietnam with McCain.

This is the second time in four days the McCain campaign has called on Obama to condemn comments by a fellow Democrat.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (215 Responses)
  1. Mike Coleman

    As a Viet Nam vet (Air Force) I don't feel that Sen. Obama has to apologize for anything that he didn't say. I remember when Obama entered the Senate and McCain ask him to work on some legislation with him. Obama asked that he check with the Democratic leadership and McCain blew his top and called Sen. Obama all sorts of vile names. Did McCain apologize for his outburst? No he didn't and hasn't to this day. If McCain skin is that thin, he should go home to mommy and leave the game to grownups.

    April 8, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. Val

    Patty, they will be asking Obama to denouce you to, be careful, LOL. Even though what you said is so true.

    April 8, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. Hillary Clinton

    Can't we ALL just get along and stop with the nastiness... PAHLEEZzz

    April 8, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Cheryl from Alabama

    Never before in the course of presidential politics have there been so many whiners. We've turned into a society of complainers and whiners. Everyone is called upon to disavow the words of someone else.

    Why not hold those people who speak the words accountable and leave everyone else out of it. Is your favorite candidate responsible for the things that you say on a daily basis? The only difference is, these other supporters have the spotlight and we as "John Q. Public" do not.

    Everyone needs to get off of their high horses. Chill out! Settle down! Get a life!!!! This whining and complaining needs to stop. Immediately!!!

    April 8, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. Mike Coleman


    Obviously you have never heard of the Tuskegee Experiment? It lasted from 1932 to 1972. The US Government allow poor black men infected with the clap to infect their family and lovers and they didn't treat them for the disease even though help was available. That is why someone might think that the government would do something like that.

    April 8, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |

    A FORMER POW ?????

    April 8, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. Wisconsin for Obama

    Jose' April 8th, 2008 3:07 pm ET wrote .........................

    Obama will not denounce anything.

    He has no spine.

    He has no convictions.

    He wanders which ever way his leftist leash holders tell him too

    You are the one with no spine and you are an ignorant american who seems to have no idea that in america there is freedom of speech and that is what your McCain or Hillary voted for the war in Iraq for the Iraqians to have.... I repeat... FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Why should he (Obama) apologise for someone sharing their mind?

    April 8, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. rick

    the comment was made by a Senator who's a self-acknowleged obama supporter and the call to denounce it is from a Senator and McCain supporter. To pretend it doesn't potentially 'help' obama is insincere at
    best, the point is to put it 'out there' even if you take it back later. It's standard old school politics on behalf of the candidate of c h a n g e. He has to try to tarnish a war hero and POW's record somehow, someway
    and this is how you begin.

    April 8, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  9. Real change

    It makes you mad doesn’t Senator McCain? It’s disrespectful and unfair isn’t it Senator?

    Now…here is what I would tell McCain if I were Obama. I’ll apologies to you just as quick as you return the money you have taken form the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and apologize for what they said about Kerry. Until then you can just sit there and be mad (and be a hypocrite).

    April 8, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. Joe

    What?! Is Obama really responsible for everything anybody says about McCain?! Please! He will not have a prayer considering how wide open McCain is and will be for verbal critical comment. John McCain- Good Man? Sure. War Hero? You Bet. PRESIDENT? Oh Hell No! (NO! O8ama should not have to apologize for this blog)

    April 8, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Jot

    The Obama supports believe that Rockefellar is a Clinton delegate, they will soon blame it on her

    April 8, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. Ca Native

    Rockefeller and Obama are cut from the same cloth. Obama doesn't dare dirty his hands – rather calling on surrogates to attach John McCain.

    But hey – all you Obama-bots calling on John McCain to "deal with it".. yall certainly won't mind when America is reintroduced to B. Hussein Obama. Right?

    April 8, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. Jim

    That's right. You can never criticize mcCain at any time, for any reason.

    Sounds like a great president...

    April 8, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. ABC '08

    Sen. Jay Rockefeller is not Sen. Obama. Why is this an issue for Barack Obama?

    April 8, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. EBC

    WHY is this OBAMA's fault? I fail to understand that why is it that every time someone says something it's SEN. OBAMA's fault?

    This is getting absolutely childish and foolish...

    Sen. McCain needs to GROW up, he certainly didn't apologize for Rev. Haggee's slandering and racists comments about the resident's of LA.

    Give me a freakin break!!!

    McCain better get a grip....or he'll never survive November against Obama. What a baby....

    April 8, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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