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. maya

    Again- very low to attack a man or woman SERVING OUR COUNTRY. You can attack our government or our policies- never ever the man or woman serving our country.

    Obama and his radical followers will be the end of the Democratic Party...

    April 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  2. Darth Vadik, CA

    You give these guys (Republicans) an inch and they take a mile, what you need to do is run them into the ground, keep kicking them until they are so beat they would go down back into holes they crawled from, never to appear again.

    April 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  3. James West

    Osama, this is America, go be the pres of your native Kenya, they need your kind of communism, we don't.

    April 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. Sue

    Barack Obama did not make the offensive comments and has nothing to apologize for. Sen. Rockefeller already personally apologized for the comments he made. McCain needs to get over it.

    April 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. P J Evans

    If McCain is that sensitive, maybe he shouldn't be running for President.
    Or he should get used to people saying what they actually think of him.

    BTW, his war record isn't all that great.

    April 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  6. Doug

    Wah, Wah, Wah . . . McCain's people sound like a bunch of cry babies. They better develop some thick skin before the general election if they are to stand a chance.

    April 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. Ed

    How dare these yellow bellied Democrats challenge the bravery of a of a former POW that was actually tortured.

    April 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. sheanne

    Another misspoken statement from the Obama camp and the media and Obamacans agree it should go no further because he apologized.

    If this comment came from the Clinton camp it would be headline news and Clinton ripped apart for a month.

    I want fair treatment toward Obama as if it was a Clinton comment!!

    April 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. EJ

    McCain should stop trying to score worthless political points, admit the fact the he shouldn't have to apologize everytime someone ELSE says something, and "focus on the issues"

    April 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. abu

    McCain and his campaign can eat slugs

    April 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. Peter

    Obama people have made a lot of nasty attacks, on both McCain and Clinton. Many people and Media seemed tolerating the attacks from Obama people very well.

    April 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. Jack in ND

    McCain is only entitled to an apology from Obama's mouth if the thing being apologized for came from Obama's mouth.

    April 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. Susan / PA

    what do they want ..blood??? Did anyone force Hillary Clinton to apologize for the raunchy lie told to the good citizens of Ohio?? NO. nor did she apologize to Obama for saying he was the one to "wink, wink" to the Canadians.( unfactual, Google it) I guess McCain wants to join the silly season.

    Vote Responsibly April 22nd

    April 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Chris in Columbus

    What the...he said that Rockafeller is the same as Ed Schultz?

    McCain MUST be senile if he thinks that the liberal version of Limbaugh (Only with less following, if that's possible) has anywhere near the power as a US Senator. A senator that I respect a lot more than a man who the only impressive things he's done were getting shot down and causing one of the biggest scandals in the 80's.

    No more warmongers. Obama 08.

    April 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. Patty Atlanta GA



    Bring back HUCKABEE!

    April 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. Roger

    Why is it that Obama is responsible for the DUMB things that come ouf of his supporters mouth? I am getting sick and tired of people blaming him for what other people say. He didn't hold a gun to their heads and make them say the things they said and that is including rev wright. Judge OBAMA for what comes OUT OF HIS MOUTH not his supporters.

    April 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  17. Sam in Indiana

    Obama did not say it. Obama's campaign apologized nonetheless. Obama does not need to jump through hoops to please McCain.

    April 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    If not Hillary, then McCain!

    There is NO other option!

    Hillary 08' 12

    April 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. Carl

    McCain won't be able to tie his own shoe laces by next year. Maybe he should apologize now for the drool that will cascade down his chin.

    April 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. Its True

    Never apologize to the enemy...

    April 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. Bob Stephens

    Weather Vane McCain is insulted by a comment someone makes about him that is true??? i don't get it...

    April 8, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. b-liberal

    It is time for someone to call Obama on these negative attacks. he sets one of his mouthpieces to speak for him then says "I didn't know about that" "I wasn't there" "I wasn't in church that day". remember Obama is a slick rich lawyer in the fine tradition of politics!

    April 8, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  23. Jane

    Rockefeller is around 80 years old...he, and he alone, is accountable for what comes out of his mouth. Obama is half the man's age for goodness sake.

    This is becoming utterly ridiculous...McCain's campaign is simply playing POLITICS out of one side of the mouth while claiming to not be from the other. If McCain is truly hurt by this statement (which I'm sure he's not), then he needs to grow thicker skin. This reeks of politics as usual from his camp.

    April 8, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  24. Key West Sun

    Obama 's new brand of politics, Take if from me, this is what he thinks of change in politics. John understand, he is only a smooth talking snake oil saleman, he lets the people around him do the dirty work, then looks shocked that they would say that, then in about 5 minutes of talking he will say nothing , take no action, but leave a slight impression that he think some what they said might be wrong.
    This guy is slick, so far he can lie at will and the media will just look
    the other way. Hillary is taking all the heat off him for now. Maybe his youthful following will tire of being used liked cattle and look with open eye's before it is to late.

    April 8, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. Sandy in PA

    Obama himself did not make the comments.

    Obama was also not the guy who sang "bomb, bomb, bomb. bomb, bomb, Iran".

    April 8, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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