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. Tesa P


    April 8, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. Jeff

    well, at least the obama supporters are just as nasty to mccain as they are to hillary.

    this is what you want the rest of us to believe in? sad.

    April 8, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. Alex H

    Jan April 8th, 2008 3:46 pm ET

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

    SO SAD

    And you would expect them to apologize before the fact? That's stupid... you can't apologize UNTIL after the fact.

    April 8, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. SPQR753



    April 8, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. Jana

    I found amazing that every time when Obama looks weeks in terms of his record, experience or patriotism compared to another person, Obama’s supporters insult that person. Do not forget Sen. Obama it will hunt you back.

    April 8, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. Marc in DeKalb, IL

    Does anyone find it ironic that a spokesperson is the one whining about a spokesperson apologizing... and why should Obama personally apologize for something he didn't personally say?

    I'm not sure which way I lean in the general election, but I've had it up to here with whining. Clinton made sure of that.

    Let's not make the general election a repeat of the Democratic primary.

    April 8, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. Mike

    This is getting disgusting. You Obama freaks are just that...freaks! If Clinton's supporter said this or if a McCain supporter made some false charge you all would be up in arms. I'm so sick of the Obama freaks. They have no idea what they are talking about and are just joining the bandwagon of a sly politician who will ruin this country if he's elected with his polarizing supporters and his hate for America.

    April 8, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. Danny in Pittsburgh

    Funny that a McCain SPOKESPERSON expresses the disdain, and not McCain himself.

    If you're going to try and create a "rule" for engagement, then you need to follow the rule when rebutting.

    Keep in mind?

    Had America's leaders not completely misread the Vietnam tea leaves...McCain would not BE a war hero. He served with distinction and no one can deny that.

    But his sacrifice was in vain then, just as our brave guys and gals is now. That is a matter for serious consideration. And something this administration, and all who would follow in it, should be completely ashamed of.

    April 8, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. NC4Obama

    You've got to be kidding me...now McCain is going to campaign like hillary....we see how that worked out, LOL.

    April 8, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. sozzi

    McCain the facts are the facts. All you did was drop bombs and killed many inocent people. Now you want our young men & women of the US Armed Forces to keep on doing the same in Iraq for NO LEGITIMATE REASON.

    April 8, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. stag

    Another BHO lie. He does not respect Mccain's service.

    April 8, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. Steve

    Oh, come on boys! Wa! Wa! Wa! I am sick and tired of watching grown men and woman act like a bunch of spoiled, little brats. This, "Did so
    !", "Did not.", Did so!", "Did not!", "Did so!" crap has got to stop. Grow up, children!

    April 8, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. Paul from PA

    Obama has nothing to do with what the man said. McCain is trying to be on the news. Simple as that.

    April 8, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. MD

    Oh shut up McCain. You fuss like a 12 year old girl.

    April 8, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. kim portland, oregon

    oh waaah, waaah, mccain! you know you cant run on your policies, record, or family life so you have to nitpick at people and waste their time over small issues.

    i think everyone's time is better spent discussing the ISSUES of america today. NOt whether someone apologizes to you for being mean.

    by the way, have you apologized to your first wife for all the names you called her and for divorcing her after her terrible car accident, then leaving her for your mistress?!?!!? NICE FAMILY VALUES, JOHN!!!!

    April 8, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. Alonzo Demetrius

    This is typical Democrat spinning. First, you insult publicly and then you apologize half-heartedly.

    So, Rockefeller, just what is it that you really respect?

    April 8, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. Kelley

    I demand that McCain denounce Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity for their comments and untruths about Obama. Also Dennis Miller, Bill O Reilly and Ann Coulter. If this is the route that McCain is going I will lose all my respect for the McCain camp. I see McCain as an honest, patriotic man, but this is ridiculous and I will lose all respect for him if the campaign is going to force this issue of denouncing.

    April 8, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. Go away Obama

    Glad someone is calling him out. McCain is right ! Obama is the worst kind of slime he has others do his dirty work for him. How many times have we heard Obama's people crying over some FACT that someone has spoken about Obama? I can't wait until McCain wins the election and Obama crawls back in the hole he came from. Obama can't win!! Too many questions about his ties, too few actions to back up his great speaches. What a fraud!! Someone should offer him an acting gig.

    April 8, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. lil

    That, something thats going on between rockerfellow and macain
    its best that he stays out of it. sen oboma should not get involved in this back and forth debate the two of them have going on.

    April 8, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. Dave

    i'm sure this is going to get very dirty...the media is going to get paid this year from the presidential contest

    April 8, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. Ross in MD

    John McCain is a silly old man.
    We're sorry John – Did someone hurt your feelings?

    April 8, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. Fernandez

    Someone call Obama smart? Maybe it was CNN

    April 8, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Are you kidding me? "I do not agree with what was said" is not enough? Give me a break!

    April 8, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. Anita

    Have you ever hard the quote "the buck stops here." Obama, take responsibility if you're at the "top" of your campaign.

    April 8, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. Nakae

    All that was said was that McCain was an air pilot. That's exactly right.

    McCain never fought on the ground. He doesn't know the suffering war brings – on our troops or on civilians. All he did was drop bombs and fly away. No wonder he sings about bombing Iran.

    April 8, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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