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. maya

    That is REALLY low. I hate war. I have rallied for peace. But this is uncalled for- I can't believe it. It is entirely unacceptable to attack someone who is SERVING OUR COUNTRY. You can attack the government, policies, but NEVER EVER the man or woman who serves.

    I am ashamed. I hope that this doesn't get tied to Dems in general- this is NOT how we all think. The Obama radicals will ruin us all.

    April 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Belle

    Well lets see...Obama has NEVER apologized to Clinton for the untruthful comments he has made about her...so why would he apologize to McCain?

    However, I am sure the quick fires will make a good Ad about Obama gutter campaigning while the REAL Honorable Man is in fact, Senator McCain...

    Video comes in, "Immediate denouncement and apology from McCain over the Talk Show Host"

    Obama: I don't control what my supporters say....

    April 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. Carlo

    Just think Clintonites-you called Obama a whiner. McCain is too old to be such a freakin' baby.

    April 8, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. Bob

    Is McCain going to call Hillary to condemn comments by a fellow Democrat also?

    get real !

    April 8, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. Jan

    Has anyone noticed that Obama is dumb like a fox . He may denounce this, but it's after the fact and it's already out there.

    Speaking of Rockfeller, what has he done for this country?

    Well I guess he did endorse Obama, and anti american and a follower
    of Rev. Wright. McCain should be furious, but he better get used
    to Obama's lies.

    April 8, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. Lee, Red Bluff, CA

    What Sen. Rockefeller said is an absolute outrage. But this is typical out of the Obama camp. Smear McCain, smear Clinton and then deny.

    This on top of Senator Obama's discussion about what he would look for in a Vice President should insult every American voter.

    By the way CNN – since comments were closed on PA polls – post this.

    New SurveyUSA poll out of PA – CLINTON UP BY 18. I dare you to post this seeing CNN has become all Obama 24 hours every day.

    For those of you who have no clue about SurveyUSA – they have done the most ACCURATE Polling of this campaign.

    April 8, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. Tanya K

    Obama is not going to condemn anything anyone says he is to green and arrogent. He wouldn't even condemn a anti-american, racist, hatemonger like Reverand Wright.

    April 8, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. Let Peers work it out BTW Peers

    These guys are all U.S. Senators... how about giving the guy a call and let him know what you think? How difficult is that? This is a non-issue.

    April 8, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. SCOTT

    I think Mr. McCain can fight his own battles. Maybe his friends should let him. I'm really tired of this grade school playground whiney "he called me a bad name" nonsense.

    April 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  10. White Male 4 Obama

    Why don't they make a *loop* of Rockefellar's comments, play it over and over in the media, and call him a racist and anti-american ...

    The Clintons and McCains did it with Rev. Wright, so why not Rockefellar as well? It should work, right?

    Oh, wait, Rockefellar is a white US senator ... you can't do that to him!

    April 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. b-liberal

    Another Obama negative attack. He never does it himself but uses a "mouthpiece". Real brave. Time to expose Obama for his deception.

    April 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. Adam in Indy

    don't accuse the obama campaign of being negative... They'll play the race card!

    April 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. Sean

    McCain needs to "chill out" as slick Willy would say. It's not on Obama to defend or denounce the worlds' opinions. He sounds like a little kid running to mommy every time another kid at school calls him a name. Is this how he's planning on running the White House?

    April 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. Hicks, Fort Myers

    Let Rocky say what he wants-it's better if Obama allows this crap to continue–so the fools can reveal themselves.
    It shows what ignorance there is out there–among the Democratic leadership. The richer the nutier.

    Fact is, in November the grown-ups will speak at the ballot box. And regardless of the outcome we'll have a President. Do we want one who has alliances with a fool like Rocky? You decide.

    April 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. Denounce What?

    He is just telling the truth. So was the radio host that said McCain was a war monger. Besides Obama can't condemn every statement that someone says that is not directly connected to his campaign just like Hillary can't. Now if this gentleman was let's see Obama's key political provider for most of her political career then he may have to denounce the statements, so let's get real here. Enough of throwing people under the boss for speaking the truth, there is no smear here, only the truth.

    April 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  16. Deb

    I'm not surprised.

    I'm married to a former Marine who served in Cuba and Viet Nam.

    He is so insulted by Obama that he changes the channel anytime his name is even mentioned.

    No way is this guy Main Stream America!

    He is an insult to our Troops and all that have served this great nation!

    April 8, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  17. kathy in ohio

    He won’t apologize; he has all his supporters but these ideas out there and then says “he can’t control what other people say”. Oh but he is going to CHANGE everything else, what a joke.
    And he thinks he is going to handle a country. Well Mr. McCain I am sure you will be our next president. I am a Hillary supporter but I am very comfortable voting for you.

    April 8, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  18. CheckSix

    Niiiiiiice move, Rockefeller... you just managed to smack generations of past and current fighter pilots in the mouth. THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is yet ANOTHER example of why Democrats have no business being in charge of the defense of this nation. Hey Senator, why don't you stick to the things you know best: appeasing thugs, punishing the successful and confiscating and redistributing America's wealth.

    April 8, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. real steel

    It is clear that the general election between Obama and McCain has begun.

    By the way, Senator McCain just said on Sunday that Obama "absolutely" is ready to be commander-in-cheif. Thank you Senator McCain.

    April 8, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. John B. in Miami

    I'm pretty sure that there were no lazer-guided bombs around the time of Vietnam. McCain was doing his job as a Navy aviator. If he didn't drop those bombs, which was his job, someone wlse would have. This is one of those statements athat are uncalled for. The really sad thing is that this is nothing compared to what we will be bombarded with until election day.

    April 8, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. Nicknas

    I will say this EVERYTIME I hear McSame use his Military record to qualify himself for this office.

    There are MILLIONS of Combat Vets who served and tens of Thousands of ex-POWS

    Why don't you hear US whineing all the time that we are owed something like.... THE PRESIDENCY!!! Hell I would be happy with a steady JOB!

    Guiliani all over again!

    April 8, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. Stephanie, PA

    This has gotten totally ridiculous!!!! There are thousands of politicians out there supporting Obama, Clinton, McCain and the indies. Are the candidates supposed to monitor what each of them says and then denouce, decry and condemn certain comments?

    Silly, silly season!

    April 8, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. X

    Truth Hurts......

    April 8, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  24. Stacy Clarks,

    The Warmonger thing was McCain being a baby, but this one is pretty bad

    the man was a POW and is a hero. Im sure Obama has not heard of the comments yet, and as soon as he does, he will denounce them

    OBAMA 08!!!!!


    April 8, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  25. Herman LA, CA

    Dam this crap with denounce and reject, McCain your a man your no Hillary Clinton she is a woman stand up and take it and stop crying like a girl every time someone says something about you, you warmonger.

    April 8, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
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