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. Michael Guinn- Ventura, CA

    John McCain's plan for the future of this Country is what "falls short"!

    April 8, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Jan

    Isn't it ironic, that Obama and his supporters always apologizes

    SO SAD

    April 8, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Concerned Democrat

    Of course Sen. Obama won't personally apologize for the remarks made by those who support and campaign for him. This is consistent with his past refusal to specifically denounce those who work for him. Apparently, he doesn't see this a dirty politics. Lets face it , the one thing I don't think anyone can question McCain on is his service to this country during Vietnam. I doubt Obama would have last as long as a POW. For someone who did not serve and has not served a day in the military he should respect someone who has answered the call of this country and has done a job he apparently sees as beneath him.

    April 8, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Chudi

    Clintonites and Obamanians! MUST READ! Its the republicans that are posting and pretending to be Obamanians/Clinotonites to drive us mad against each other.

    YES both Obama and Clinton sides have been battling each other but the most divisive and rude statements come from the republicans! We've been had DEMOCRATS! Check out the links.

    THIS MEANS WAR! Smarten up democrats.

    Please google this "Republicans bloggers posing as democrats on blogs".

    April 8, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. honkey white guy from cali

    ok! give me a break Mc Same! what did you hire carl rove over the weekend and some how CNN missed it. You have got to be kidding me there is tons I mean tons of conservative republicans on radio,TV, and the internet making all kinds of nasty comments about Obama. Some of those while he was there in present company! I think him not responding to Mc Cains obvious attempt to drag Obama back down in the gutter and away from his message and campaign very sad!!! Remember Hillary tried to do this to and she almost had him down there but he stood back up brushed off the pieces and went back to work on his campaign. Better watch out campaigns have a tendency to explode after you try something like this

    April 8, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. RH

    Obama didn't tell Rockefeller to go say those things. Obama did the right thing. A personal apology would represent a tacit acknowledgement of culpability – Obama knows it and so does McCain.

    April 8, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. Kab

    Is he not the same guy who wanted 100 years war in Iraq...

    is he not the same guy who says "Bomb Bomb Bomb Iraq/ Iran"

    Common Stop this drama...

    April 8, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. SilverSpring

    Since when Obama is responsible for stuff that comes out of somebody's mouth?

    April 8, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. Poor Johnny McCain

    Got his feelings hurt? If he wants soldiers to die in Iraq for 100 years, he can face the response from the American people.

    April 8, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. jj

    wow, Obama admitted he didn't agree with him??? I'm surprised he didn't turn that around too.

    April 8, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. David

    Is McCain playing the victim card again? Why does Obama need to repudiate every supporter? Also, does the McCain team not know that Obama is in the Foreign Relations Committtee hearing with David Petraeus? This demonstrates McCain's true phoniness.

    April 8, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. What Really Happend

    No matter what the Obama Campagin said the McCain camp was going to say they haven't gone far enough. I would ask the McCain campagin to stop playing politics and to please stick to things Obama says and does and not supporters he cannot control.

    Independents for Obama

    April 8, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. Nick from TX

    John McCain IS a war monger. He VOTED for the war and completely supports it and would continue if this country voted for him in November.

    If it walks like a duck.....

    April 8, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. Connie, Tennessee

    The truth always hurts!! Of course, he's a warmonger and that's probable the nicest thing they could say about him.

    April 8, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  15. Brenda, CT

    It is getting to be ridiculous. Senator Obama should not have to apologize for everything someone says.

    April 8, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  16. Svetlana

    Ridiculous! If McCain's so tough he shouldn't need such coddling.

    April 8, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. William Martin

    Obama is a liar! He talks about "Change" and "Hope" when it is only More Of The Same.

    He is just as negative as any other candidate. The only difference is that he is too afraid to say it on his own so he has his surrogates say it for him.

    Obama has to apologize. What military service has Obama given this country? Nothing.

    April 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. EDW


    April 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. 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 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Jenn

    if it was something McCain's camp said about Obama or Hillary's camp said about Obama, the whole world would be in an uproar that they didn't personally apologize.
    It cracks me up Obama can say and do no wrong but everybody else is wrong depending on the situation.

    April 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  21. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Come on!!

    Sen. Obama's campaign apologized to Sen. MCcain! Give it a break!!
    If the candidate is expected to apologize personally for ever remark made by one of their supporters, Sen. Clinton would forever be apologizing.

    April 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Ron R

    Give it a rest John.....geesh

    April 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. Myra

    Oh for pete's sake !!!! Do candicates have to apologize for everything someone said just because they support their opponent. This is getting ridiculous.

    April 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. bob

    yea thats right..

    obama is in the foreign relations committee..

    thats the committee where obama chairs the european foreign relations subcommittee

    and he has yet to chair a meeting...

    who is the phony david?


    April 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. Ashamed Democrat

    Once again we have the Obama campaign and supporters spouting off about one's own back-ground without any back-ground of there own candidate. Barack Obama has got to be the worst Democratic candidate they have ever tried too shove down our throats. Shame on the Democrats and the party for not having the best candidate for this race. What a joke ! I will be more of the same who will vote for the republican party nominee , at least he has some back-ground for this very important job. More untruth and smear tactic's is all Obama camp can come up with. Lies about Hillary Clinton now on John McCain.

    April 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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