April 8th, 2008
08:00 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain campaign says Obama team's apology falls short

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/08/art.mccainrock.gi.jpg caption="Rockefeller apologized to McCain Tuesday."](CNN) - John McCain’s campaign said an apology from Barack Obama’s team for comments from West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who supports the Illinois senator’s presidential bid, were not enough, calling for a response from the candidate himself.

“It was a spokesperson. Just as with the situation with liberal attack artist Ed Schultz, Obama refused to reject the statements personally. It’s a trend that undermines Barack Obama’s credibility when he makes calls for a ‘new’ more ‘accountable’ debate,” said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.

The Obama campaign and Rockefeller both apologized Tuesday afternoon for his comments about the presumptive Republican nominee’s war record in a West Virginia paper.

“Senator Obama has a deep respect for Senator McCain’s service to this country and doesn’t agree with what Senator Rockefeller said,” said Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

Rockefeller’s Senate office released a statement by the senator that said he regretted the comment. “I have deep respect for John McCain’s honorable and noble service to our country. I made an inaccurate and wrong analogy and I have extended my sincere apology to him.

“While we differ a great deal on policy issues, I profoundly respect and appreciate his dedication to our country, and I regret my very poor choice of words.”

At virtually the same moment, the McCain camp charged that his comments were “more than a coincidence that Obama campaign surrogates are making character attacks against John McCain without any repudiation.”

“Barack Obama’s silence is giving his surrogates a license to make attacks that don’t contribute to the dialogue on the issues,” said Bounds.

“As long as people affiliated with Barack Obama’s new brand of politics continue to make gutter attacks, we are going to call on Barack Obama to do something about it. And so far he’s done nothing.”

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (319 Responses)
  1. Pennsylvania Majority

    OBAMA is simply a good orator...the world will regret Obama more in 4 years than they do Bush after 8...Check your emotions and vote with your head not heart.

    We need performance not preaching !!!

    run FROM obama !!!

    April 8, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  2. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain is an 71 year old geezer ready for the nursing home or has the White House turned into a nursing home where there's is no new innovation, just war stories.

    April 8, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  3. Tex'un

    Calling Rockefeller an Obama is like calling the Rev. Al Sharpton a surrogate for the Pope! Two Democrats, two Christians. The same logic.

    April 8, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  4. Tyrone Harvey

    Hiillary will never just leave and I not want her to she is a american that want to President . She just will do anything to do just that. The more she stays in this race the more she will lie. AND PEOPLE HATE RICH PEOPLE THAT LIE!

    April 8, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. Jay Graham, Dallas, TX

    Why is Obama so afraid to say the truth? Why is he attacking through his supporters and remain himself as a good cop? If he is appologetic to every comment his supporters make, what is going to happen in general election? That shows his weakness and wants to pander for every vote. Pathetic!

    April 8, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  6. D. Brown, Texas

    Well, this is what I have to say:
    1. All of the candidates need to simply run their campaigns the best they can, sharing what they, themselves truly believe regarding important issues, and how they honestly plan to deal with them.
    2. The media needs to quit focusing on what the people around the candidates are saying and doing. It is the candidate themselves that should be running their campaigns, instead of dealing with all the "backlash" of what other candidates' supporters may be doing or saying. It's just silly.
    3. The media does need to focus on "digging for the truth" about the candidates' histories, accomplishments and failures. There's much to be learned, that could really enlighten American Citizens.
    4. I do come from a military family, and am proud of my forefathers' contributions to help pave "The American Way".
    However, in closing, I say "Obama, All The Way!"

    April 8, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  7. Bob-a-latte

    Senator Obama, we're sick of your "new politics." It is the same dirty politics, just repackaged. It is like putting Tide soap in a new package and calling it "new and improved."

    April 8, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  8. Also Scared of Obama Supporters

    You Obama supporters are sickening. You act like you own this election and like you own this country. How sad and sick. Last time I remember a movement this aggressively hate filled, millions of Jews were killed.

    HIllary, if not, McCain then Hillary in 2012

    April 8, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  9. Bruce, Chicago

    Typical shady Barack move. You haven't heard McCain's senate supporters bad mouthing Obama or Clinton, have you? I don't think Hillary has had anyone attack McCain either. Obama is using attack dogs to fight a dirty election, he's the cheap shot artist. He's using Rockefeller just like he used his criminal buddy Tony Rezko when he needed part of his personal home property paid for. This guy is slime. You want "change," then vote for McCain, lets get an honest person in the White House for once please!!

    April 8, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  10. H


    April 8, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  11. ken

    Obama is nothing but a typical Chicago style politicain. He presents nothing new.Those who think he does are unedcuated and un informed. Like the mobster he is, he gets others to do his dirty work. In this case it's limosine liberal Rockefeller The Daily's have trained him well

    April 8, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  12. bob

    shame ,shame.on obama, he will never win, the office, the real people of the us are not that stupid, shame, shame, obama, still has told us nothing, just talk, talk, talk.. i am one dem who will be voting for john if all talk gets the ticket. shame on the dems.

    April 8, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. RememberKentState

    Wow...what's up with all the Bama-boy supporters? I'm Black and Obama has NEVER paid he's dues to the counrty and it sounds like neither have you dope smokers and crack users – oh hey sounds just like Bama-boy no wonder you all love him so much....

    By the way you should try burying a few friends in war before you shoot your mouths off about how much service and sacrifice don't count for anything in politics....I have and it makes you understand what NOT to start wars....McCain is a honorable and courageous man – what can you say about bama-boy other than he's a drug user and a loser....the rolling stones write great lyrics too – want them to run the country – you guys need a does of reality not drugs...

    April 8, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  14. John--MN

    I fear for our country. None of these candidates seem willing, able or capable of discussing the real issues we are faced with. Quibbling about who said what about whom and who's responsible.....put this pettiness behind you and let's see which of the candidates will address the serious challenges facing our country.

    April 8, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  15. Texas4Obama

    Sen. Rockerfella said it – NOT Senator Obama.

    Get real people!

    April 8, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  16. Benjamin

    McCain is dead on with holding Obama accountable. Obama has let his supporters say whatever they want, let their words do the damage he desires, and does nothing in the end. His campaign is dirty, and everything Obama claims he is NOT.

    April 8, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. John


    "Baghdad Orders Lockdown As Petraeus & McCain Testifies"

    The surge is working my friends....

    April 8, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  18. Obama Oreo

    Oscar, Rio Vista, CA April 8th, 2008 5:29 pm ET

    This is ludicrous. McCain may be an old fart but he needs to grow up. (Oops!! I called McCain and old fart and I support Barack Obama. Quick, someone tell Barack he has to apologize for me).

    CNN moderators are F-ING ridiculous!!!

    I posted a comment that said:

    "Obama is an ole black fart"

    and you freaking delete it!

    But the one above is OK? You racists F-ers at CNN.

    I can really tell now that blacks must be working as the
    moderators at CNN. Hey isn't The New Black Panther Party located in Atlanta along with CNN? Maybe that's it.

    April 8, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  19. John

    No apology is necessary. Because he was shot down, and spent time in a POW camp during a war over 30 years ago makes me cringe. Change your panties, and get over it because most Americans could care less if a candidate has their feelings hurt over a statement. The politically correct BS is getting old, if you can't take the mud slinging, maybe McCain needs to make reservations at the retirement home, not the White House.

    April 8, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
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