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. Thom in OH

    McCain stop crying foul over every little thing an Obama supporter says against you. It's an election season afterall! His campaign released a statement on his position regarding the comment and Rockefellar apologized. Enough said. It's really arrogant to expect Sen. Obama to apologize in a manner that is only acceptable to you each and every time you request. I guess this is the RNC's attempt to claim ground for releasing their kitchen sink at the Dems. Bring it on RNC cause we already know it was in the plans anyway!!!!! It's election season afterall!

    April 8, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  2. Cornel

    wow, for such a brave guy, he sure is sensitive....

    April 8, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. Richard

    It would be nice if Obama would apologize for remarks.
    McCain is a hero. Period.

    April 8, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  4. Susan S.

    I never heard of this comment before this demand for a retraction - the Republicans are the one spreading it around and playing the victim card.

    Rockefeller should apologize, but why should Obama?

    April 8, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. julie35

    Oh my God , as a dem I would like to see the end of the party! This Obama campaign is a joke! He's a far left lunatic,being praised for his lies and arrogance, This dem + at least 50 more for Mccain over nobama.

    April 8, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. Antoinette

    If u ask me, he didnt have to apologize in the first place

    He did nothing wrong and the Sen, who said it was not a representative of Obama nor were they even in the building at the same time

    McCain, stop being a baby.

    April 8, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. Donald, SC

    McShame is at again. First he says ALL Americans have a right to Freedom of Speech. Yet, every time someone who knows Senator Obama says anything McSame calls foul. Hey, what about YOUR son? Is he on the frontline, or is he hidden in some back office like all the other privileged children of public figures in the military? If you really want to show your dedication to the WAR in Iraq, you should insist that your son by placed on the frontline like every other red blooded American son and daughter who has truly offered his/her life for the REAL defense of our country.

    April 8, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. marie

    Who cares about McCain – all I can say is Kudos to his service to our country and he deserves all the respect, but he returned to America alive. There are thousands of service members who died and or never returned home. No more dead service members – enough is enough. Obama for President.

    April 8, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. Oscar, Rio Vista, CA

    This is ludicrous. McCain may be an old fart but he needs to grow up. (Oops!! I called McCain and old fart and I support Barack Obama. Quick, someone tell Barack he has to apologize for me).

    April 8, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  10. rob

    Here we go, the vile and hatefull things the Dems will say about Mcain are going to make the primarys look like a lovefest.

    April 8, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  11. VA


    April 8, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  12. rbasquez

    I agree with Jan (up a couple of comments) Obama knows exactly what is going on. When someone spoke badly about the Dems, McCain apologized and took responcibility. We need to Obamanate Obama. (that means smash him like the bug he is)
    Hillary is my 1st choice, McCain is my second. I trust them both. I could never trust Obama...Obamanate obama!!!!!!

    April 8, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  13. Veterans For Obama


    What have YOU done for America? I don't want narrow minded individuals like youself in MY AMERICA. People like you gave us the worst 8 years with the most ignorant, backwards and destructive administration this country has ever seen.

    April 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  14. Antoinette

    Funny how the non-Obamanians are trying to say bad things about him in this post when it has NOTHING to do with the said topic

    All you Repubs need to address this situation at hand. McCain is wrong plain and simple

    April 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  15. sue

    Enough of these testosterone charged men in the white house. We need a strong and caring woman like HILLARY to who can truely lead our country. Hillary in Oval Office 2008!!!

    April 8, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. Liz W

    I think Obama should apologize, anytime someone from the Clinton group says any thing, he immediately wants her to denounce and reject what they said. Well, how about it Obama? What happened to the new kind of politics?

    April 8, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. Dave

    I believe it is Ed S-C-H-U-L-Z without a 'T'–and he's hardly an attack dog.

    April 8, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. Ardnuas

    McCain did the SAME thing to Mitt Romney !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Obama/Edwards08 Si Se Puede

    April 8, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  19. BH

    First of all. Obama campaign should not apologize for anything. There is truth to that. Its sad that Obama campaign is caving in to Mccain. Come on where is the toughness ?? All Hillary haters get your Obama to be little tough

    April 8, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  20. Excuse Me

    Enough with all the demands for apologies. This is getting just a little bit silly folks.

    We all know about McCain's war history. He WAS a jet jockey, he WASN'T in the trenches like thousands of others. We had thousands of veterans come back from Vietnam, we also had thousands who did not. Our country DID NOT honor them like we should have and that is a disgrace I hope is never repeated.

    I respect McCain's record and dedication to this country BUT we need to hear something else from McCain other than his war record. All we get from him is that story, all we get from Hillary is remember how good it was in the 90's. Isn't anyone looking toward something different for goodness sakes.

    This is all getting a little tiring.

    April 8, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  21. Shannon

    I'm a democrat and I'm tired of the politics of hope and change. It's one attack after another by Obama, who is he trying to kid with his I'm above it all crap. His campaign is just hate filled and it has the media behind him. I notice the fact that HIllary was telling the truth about her hospital story didn't get nearly the attention of the supposed lie she told did. Could the media be anymore pro Obama.

    April 8, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  22. Jamie


    So, anyone who supports a presidential candidate must edit themselves, so that the candidate they support won't feel any effects of comments made???


    April 8, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    I'm sorry that McCain is a warmonger too.

    April 8, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. Skepticus

    Many people here are missing the point. Rockefeller did NOT apologize, his spokesman did. It's not the same thing.

    April 8, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  25. HH

    John McCain

    There will be more wars more wars more wars. Also dont forget his great rendition of Bomb Iran. This man is scary, Maybe those years of beating has made this man bent over for revenge on everyone.

    America can not afford a old cook like this with an inch short fuse.

    April 8, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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