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. Marilyn

    McCain is the very definition of the words "war monger". He is milking the POW thing for all he can. Whatever respect I had for him in 2000 has evaporated.

    April 8, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. Alex H

    JimNJ – HA! That's hillarious! "Better a wolf in wolf's clothing than a wolf in sheeps clothing". Seriously??? "If I have to pick between a wolf, a wolf, or not a wolf... I'm gonna pick the wolf that looks most wolf-like!!!"

    Dude... seriously... go pick a 3rd party candidate or a Republican if you really think like that. Don't be an idiot.

    April 8, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Stine

    McCain is a tool. 'Nuff said. Do you really want another tool running our (once) great nation? I mean, he looks like a fish gasping for air, he admitted he knows nothing about economics (what a great time to elect a guy like him!) and freely sings from the heart about war. Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb bomb Iran. I literally shudder every time I think of that. Tool.

    April 8, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. AnyoneButHillary

    Here we go again with this game of tatlletale! Obama is not responsible for what everyone who supports him says! I support our men and women in the military and I pray everyday for their safe return. However, I do not support this war! That's my opinion and others are welcome to disagree.

    It's called FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

    April 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. txroaddie

    Does it surprise anyone that the Democratic Party is rife with distain for the US military? I served in Viet Name and understand democratic politicians deserting us in the field. They would desert our troops in the war on terror in the same manner they deserted us in other conflicts of the world. Bay of Pigs-Democratic blunder. Viet Nam-Democratic blunder. Somolia-Clinton Democratic blunder

    Democratic politicians are a cowardly bunch and even when they serve (John Kerry) they aren't truthful and deserve to be Swift Boated!!!!! Real Americans stand and fight. Democratic politicians only know is cut and run like hell in the opposite direction.

    April 8, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. Keith

    Hey Mark – You are a jerk. I just read the disgraceful post that you directed at Andy, an Iraq war veteran:

    "So tell my why I should be grateful for your actions. It's like someone claiming they did you a favor that you never wanted in the first place. I'm glad that you love this country so much that you have become blind and a puppet."

    Obviously you are one of those hate-filled, smart-mouthed Obama supporters. You and your candidate are both losers.

    April 8, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  7. Joe

    I'm a democrat and I find that comment is disgraceful. There is no question in my mind that McCain is a war hero and how dare anyone suggest otherwise!

    April 8, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. kiss my but

    k maybe not this what about his camp advertising supporters events that are controversial? Rhodes his Campaign manager met with Canada and nothing done! His wife speaks ill of America nothing done, His overseas adviser speaks ill of Jewish nothing done, What do you expect from a racial anti American? Please let him bury himself he is doing good job of it.
    He would need to denounce himself for remarks about typical whites,grandparents being white folks and how he grew up with an all consuming hate of his mother race. it is in his book.

    April 8, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Ron

    I have never read such stupid statements from some of the above people. Yes, war is hell and you win it anyway you can within international law. You idiots who always want peace at all costs, despite who the enemy may be and the threat they pose, will wake up one day when you no longer have freedoms. Yes, Senator Rockefeller has the right to say anything he wants, but as a typical democrate, he is an elitist snob who probably never did anything nobel in his life except to use his daddy's money.

    April 8, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  10. navyman

    I have in my lifetime seen a lot. 30 years in the service of my nation while those who have not served military time govern. Most of them have no clue what the servicemember or their families endure. Statements such as these uneducated comments make a mockery of not only this government but of the issuer of the statement. We have all been given the right to speak by our constitution. He spoke, if you don't like it don't listen. Denouncing a statement is Obamas choice.
    Go Navy!

    April 8, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. Jack

    Hey Johny, wake up...Rockefeller has endorsed Obama and has campaigned with him in various states. GET A CLUE! He is part of the Obama campaign and is a superdelegate for Obama!

    April 8, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. Robin

    I agree completely Johny. Neither democratic candidate should have to apologize for stupid comments by someone else just cause the person making the stupid comment is a democrat, It's different if the person speaking is part of the campaign staff.

    April 8, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. Clean

    To ANDY
    "I am a Democrat and a Veteran and for these individuals who do not give to there country by serving it make me sick ! Is this what Obama wants to be a Commader and Chief who will call soldiers sissies ? I Love America do you?"

    So....what your saying is, if you don't serve in the military, then you have no voice to speak your views about the country? And when did Obama call our soldiers sissies? LOL, you call your self a democrat, but you have to be the most closed minded person in the world if you think the prerequisite to voicing your opinion, is being a soldier in the most powerful military in the world.
    I know plenty of Americans who love "their" (see how i used 'their' correctly) country, and have never trained to kill anything.

    April 8, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. masgap

    Obama will not denounce this. He is a kid. A non-experienced one at that. We need a leader with solutions Go Hillary

    April 8, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  15. dmw

    Obama supporters are disgraceful. I never thought grown men and women could act so childish.

    April 8, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. Jed Clampett

    He was lying. they didn't have laser guided bombs in '67.
    Also, the insult was not to the entire military, as McCain's campaign would hope to frame the comment, but rather a direct insult on McCain who'se vast 'foreign policiy experience" is partly represented by his stint as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for much of his involvement in Nam. Is the comment not true that a bomber basically drops his bombs where he is told to and never gets to see the devastation and hardship experienced by the grunts in the ground. While it is commendable that McCain decided to enlist and actually serve, in contrast to other silver spoon crowd kids who went to england or entered the national guard or even got deferments. Being a participant in the conflict does nothing to justify claims to 'extensive foreign policy experience' other than the imbecilic, warmongering, impulsive decision to give Bushney the authority to invade a non aggressor nation.

    April 8, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Jake

    I can't stand all these simple-minded "I love America, do you?" comments. Seriously, how can you rationally equate contempt for America with not supporting the Iraq (or Vietnam) war. Indeed, quite the opposite is true. I love American and the principles which it was founded on and I find aggressive, unnecessary wars in which we are the invaders to be truly un-American. True patriots oppose the Iraq war. Support our troops, bring them home!

    April 8, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. AJP Richardson, TX

    Why should he.

    It is true.

    April 8, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. John - PA

    Jose – Obama is a very smart and extremely intelligent man!
    You could not begin to understand the twisted manipulations of Politics!
    I bet you throw your support behind a liar! (hillary)
    Before you start writing nonsense do your homework!
    I have the power of the pen too and can throw nonsense words on a blog but I wont! Im not that stupid!
    1- Obama does not need to denounce anything it was not from his campaign!
    2- Hillary needs to unify the democratic party by dropping out of the race after the Pa primary and
    3- Anyone who says if not Hillary then Mccain he/she is not a true democrat! (most likely racist)

    April 8, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  20. Dems be dopes

    Rockefeller and Obama, the ultimate chicken hawks!

    April 8, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  21. anon

    How did Rockefeller protect American live in Vietnam – by sailing in the family yatch sipping champagne?

    April 8, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. Now we know

    The reason most news agencies won't report anything bad about Obama, even the truth, is because lots of them are getting death threats if they do.

    It's not just that they are against Hillary, they are afraid to say anything else

    April 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  23. D-Whiz

    Never realized politicians were all such cry babies. Mccain get over it, you'll live. Now that I think about it, America has turned into a country of many cry babies, this is a problem, too many people get "offended" too easily. Candidates, focus on the voters and on your campaigns, opposition supporters will obviously not have great things to say about you, so get over it! (This goes for all Candidates across the board)

    April 8, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  24. Leslie

    Just like Bush – if you have nothing to offer to get a vote, point to someone you are not running against, their statements, their beliefs.

    Obama is the candidate McCain is running against. Not the other Senator's in congress, or their statements, or their beliefs.

    Grow up John. Fight a campaign against your opponent. Otherwise, you are just dropping laser guided bombs from 30,000 feet and flying off.

    April 8, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  25. George

    Jay had the luxury of running around in his john johns while some served this country in another capacity. It looks as though Jay is taking a backhanded swipe at a True Hero

    April 8, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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