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. Chuck in Oregon

    This appology thing is getting silly. Why should any one applogize for what someone else said. Here Mc Cain I will appologize for them both. I am sorry that someone said what they felt about you. I am sorry that it hurt your feelings. Truth be know, I in a kinda sorta way agree with senator. To me you seem to willing to continue the war that is obviously against the will of the American People. I am a retired US Army man myself, and I detest the Idea of fighting for a people that have no apparent desire to take the horns and govern them selves and to fight for their own right to self govern. Come how can you justify fighting where over a 1000 turn and run and for those that decide to take a lunch break before the battle that allows the enemy to consolidate and or escape. This is a joke.

    April 8, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  2. Jacqueline, NY

    Cry baby! Get over it, McCain. Do we really want this winp in office?

    April 8, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. Chief lagosboy, NJ

    Grandpa McCain is a war “Warmonger”....what a waste of time!

    Our President Obama 08' & 12'

    April 8, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. James

    This is getting ridiculous. I want everyone I know to apologize for every insensitive thing I've said in my lifetime. It's not my job, it's theirs.

    April 8, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. skylark

    Geez! What do you want him to do? Open a vein??????????
    Get over yourself McBush. Obama has nothing to apologize for. He didn't say it. His campaign did't say it.
    "If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen" (Truman). Please.
    But don't blame Mr. Obama.

    April 8, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Mark

    I don't honor McCain for his service. Speak for yourself Jim. He's a warmonger plain and simple.

    April 8, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Chris

    I think the only thing that Barak would say is "you're wearing me out brother". Poor guy probably needs another island vacation. LOL!

    April 8, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. Ellie

    Why should Sen. Obama apologize for anything here?

    McCain needs to get a grip, he's not 5 years old where he's NOT open to other people's comments and scrutiny. Geeeez, give us a break.

    Talk about acting like a baby!!!

    If this is any indication of his tantrum, he's not going to last come November.

    April 8, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. Joseph

    How about McCain individually apologizing to each of the 4000 families that have lost a service member's life for supporting an ill conceived and poorly planned war?

    April 8, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. shirley

    I guess Senator Obama could put duct tape on Rockefeller's mouth.
    The news media is making to much of what either candidate's supporter's 'say'. It is impossible to put a lid on everything inappropriate that is said by a huge body of people supporting any campaign. Just let it go and it will be forgotten.

    April 8, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. jon

    obama does not hold what's good for this country in his heart. he only wants what's good for him. i do not true him and think he will be proven as a fake.

    April 8, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. Snap Falkenberg

    McCain would certainly prefer it if he could boss Obama's campaign around and tell them what to say and when to say it. And the press will help him in this. Have you read the Free Ride book?

    April 8, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  13. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    Since when is stating the truth grounds for an apology??

    April 8, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. The future

    So.. McBush was tortured.. held as a POW and yet.. after all these years, his feeling are hurt from "name calling"?


    Obama 08'

    Who needs a presidential candidate who has a short fuse, and appears to be upset over "name calling"

    April 8, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  15. Tanya K

    I know this probably won't get posted either, since CNN is obviously biast, however Obama will not apologize he is to green and immature. According to these comments so are most of his supporters. What a change he will bring if elected. God help us all.

    April 8, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  16. justin

    for a war hero, mccain sure seems like he doesn't know how to take apunch. LOLLL

    April 8, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. Thomas, LA

    Next thing you know McSame will be saying any questioning of keeping the war going for the next 100 years is unpatriotic.

    McCain, sit down, and shut up.
    Your time is past, like last year's calendar.

    April 8, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. Veterans For Obama

    Oh be quiet Grandpa...go sit on your rocker and mind yer own business.

    April 8, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  19. Matthew

    This is getting out of hand. Im sorry Obama apologized if that wasnt enough to bad. McCain is just trying to start something to get the focus off him and its not going to work. Just like with Shultz, he said McCain is a Warmonger and yes he is and he is old and he is not going to last a full term in office not that hes going to win. Shultz said it not Obama or anyone in the campaign. McCain wants obama to apoloigize for Shultz comments. Heck i will call him a warmonger and i can think of a lot of other things to call him as well and what is McCain going to want Obama to apologize for me. McCain needs to stopping acting like a child , act his age (71) and grow a pair and run his campaign for the 3rd Bush Term... Thank you

    April 8, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    With all respect McCain's military service, we keep hearing different stories about his tour of duty in Iraq, what's the real story.

    April 8, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  21. Louis

    ...and McCain can apologize to all of America's citizens, especially families of killed and injured soldiers, for his support of an unnecessary war that has squandered our resources, destroyed lives, and severely diminished our country's stature.

    April 8, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  22. George

    McClan did drop bombs on people, didn't he? Let's not defend dropping bombs from thousands of feet on innocent people. Only a coward would think of such things to do to people. I would kick McClan's azz in a minute. He has no right to lead. He will always be a follower!

    April 8, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  23. Tim

    John McWeak is looking weaker by the second by complaining about other people criticizing him. This has nothing to do with Obama.

    April 8, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  24. Joel

    See, this is why Obama will get crushed come November. He is so locked in his "new kind of politics" so much that if he tries any negative attacks, he is seen as hypocritical. He's trying to get others to do his dirty work so he isn't being hypocritcal. OBAMA, AMERICA IS NOT THAT STUPID. BY NOVEMBER, AMERICA WILL SEE WHO YOU REALLY ARE AND YOU WILL LOSE. ONLY CLINTON CAN WIN IN NOVEMBER.

    April 8, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  25. 4REAL

    Will someone please tell me why Obama always have to apologize for statements made by others. Obama did not crtiize him Rockfeller made the comment. I agree that McCain people are such a wimp and can't take a punch. Would they act the same way if a Clinton supporter did this?

    April 8, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
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