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. OlvrWhit

    McCain have you not learned..Obama always hides behind his people.

    April 8, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. Stacy Clarks,

    and people accuse Hillary of whining...this guys is a bigger whinne

    he apologized!! what more do you want

    and i think it is really disingenuous to say that candidates make surrogatees say thing without real proof!!

    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!

    April 8, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |

    I feel for the enlisted. I come from a military family. (5 brothers, 4 served, father retired Air force) I understand the toll on the family. My mother learned to handle all sort of problems because my father was always gone. Money was always tight. I was years before I realized peanut butter came in little cute jars. The way the enlisted are being re-deployed again and again is sinful. If they're needed that much...reinstate the draft and let the rich kids serve. Maybe young women should have to serve stateside...I'm really for every ablebodied American doing SOMETHING for at least 2 years to serve this country. Freedom is not FREE! It makes me sick to see young men out there talking up war (Yes I'm talking about Mitt's sons) and then going home to their nice comfy houses and families. That is NERVE! We are destroying the good will of the enlisted and as Americans we should all be ashamed. Bring them home. NOW!


    April 8, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. vince - phoenix

    um.. in the words of Cheney.... SO!!!!!

    HE 'IS' a WAR-MONGER!!!

    go ahead... keep this going while trying to score points with the base...

    you will LOSE... Because we are WEARY of this b.s. war!

    April 8, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. Gail

    McCain stop looking childish. Rockerfella made the statement and made the apology....end of story. Stop trying to stir things up.

    April 8, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. Carlo

    Okay, McInsane needs to take a deep breath. He sounds like my teenage daughter-You hurt my feewings!

    April 8, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. Alexandra

    Shame on you McCain – so childish!

    April 8, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. Let Peers work it out BTW Peers

    Let McCain stick to the campaign and let's see how he responds when the smears start coming in the General Election. He can try to paint himself as a sort-of Southern Gentleman, but that doesn't make him qualified to be President as a re-hash of GW and a hair-trigger, saber-rattling, Old West Pioneer style.

    April 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. Jasmyne

    McCain IS a warmonger and he really needs to get over himself.

    April 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  10. zina

    Get off it, John.

    Sen. Obama went out of his way to show respect in a situation he had nothing to do with, and you STILL complain. Give me a break.

    Dems '08
    Obama '08

    April 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. Blake

    Dear McCain,

    I am writing you to ask for a denouncement of yourself. I am sure that the Iranian women and children do not understand your humanitarian expression of "bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran". They are left confused and bewildered. Please take this message to heart.

    Concerned Humanitarian

    April 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. Joe

    Why is it that Senator Barack Obama is suddenly responsible for everything a fellow Democrat says? Please. Senator McCain is a colleague of Senator Rockefeller. If Senator McCain has a problem with Senator Rockefeller's comments, then he should confront him directly. Aren't they adults?

    If he can't resolve this colleague to colleague, then how could we expect him to resolve things as President? Sorry, this makes McCain look really weak.

    April 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. Eric-PA

    No surprises from the Obama camp, which has been attacking Hillary left and right for months now. New kind of politics. Yeah right. What liars! Obama should be ashamed of himself.

    April 8, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. Frank, Missouri

    I am here too ! Me ! Me ! Apologize to ME for something !

    April 8, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. Ifeanyi Azubike Houston Texas

    Diversions. The McCain campaign should take what they got and stop poking problems where none exists. Obama did not make the statements shy must be the one to undo it.

    April 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. Debra Austin, Texas

    Well, heck, Obama, needs to get on his knees and genuflect to Sen. McCain because, just like Hillary, we OWE the Presidency to them. Get off your high horse. McCain. Your service to this country is appreciated but it doesn't GIVE you anything in politics. We saw what your buddies did to Sen. Kerry who also deserved our respect. Let's see what you get.

    April 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. Mark

    It's pretty obvious that McCain is in love with the idea of war. It's what his campaign is based on and it seems to be all he sees in the future of his possible candidacy. It's obvious from his recent comments that, to him, all middle-eastern people are deemed terrorists or members of Al Qaeda, and that Iran is in is cross-hairs for a second invasion. The fact that he didn't support MLK day speaks pretty loud as well. He likes to glorify war, and if his war experience is what he wants to run on, he should be prepared to be deeply scrutinized. We don't need another warmonger in the white house. We've all seen where that leads.

    April 8, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. Bob

    McCain is scared because Obama is the only one who can win the general election!

    April 8, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |

    Barack Obama did not say it . Rockerfeller is a Senator, McCain is a Senator. They should sort it out themselves. McCain's camp is just trying to score cheap publicity since their money is low. Barack Obama is responsible for HIS words...not every senator who disagrees with John McCain. If the Mccain people weren't so busy trying to put Senator Obama into their little word wars...they'd have more time to search for donations and be able to BUY the air time the campaing needs. CHEAP SHOT!

    This time I want a smart President!

    April 8, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. Michael

    Why should Obama apologize? Did he make the comment? Wait until the general election. The McBush campaign will need to send fruit baskets on a daily basis to the Obama campaign.

    April 8, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  21. NX from VA

    Obama shouldn't apologize... McCain is a warmonger who supported the Iraq war despite lack of any credible evidence that Saddam was a threat. And now he is singing "bomb bomb bomb Iran" for no reason... Last thing we need is another pointless war while OBL & Co roam around freely...

    April 8, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. sy in tx


    dang...for a republican, McCain's camp sure is sensitive

    April 8, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. Tex

    The truth still remains: McCain is a warmonger and now a whiner.

    April 8, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. Vee

    oh common crying baby!!!

    April 8, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. Gary

    yes, why is that Obama's CAMP continues to be Obama's mouth? Speak for yourself Barak.

    April 8, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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