June 23rd, 2008
05:01 PM ET
15 years ago

Black 'deeply regrets' terror comment

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/23/art.black.ap.jpg caption="Black said he deeply regrets his comments."](CNN) - Charlie Black, a senior adviser to John McCain, said Monday he "deeply regrets" his comments to Fortune Magazine suggesting a terrorist attack on the United States would benefit the Arizona senator's presidential campaign.

"They were inappropriate," Black told reporters at a fundraising event, according to a pool report. "I recognize that John McCain has devoted his entire life to protecting his country.”

In the Fortune Magazine interview, posted on the magazine's Web site Monday, Black said that the Arizona senator demonstrated his fluency in foreign policy and security matters following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December of last year.

Asked if McCain would stand to benefit from a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Black answered: “Certainly it would be a big advantage to him.”

A McCain campaign official said Black does not explicitly remember saying the comment, but does not dispute it. According to the official, he was trying to emphasize that McCain is favored on national security issues.

UPDATE: Barack Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton called Black's comments a "disgrace."

“The fact that John McCain’s top advisor says that a terrorist attack on American soil would be a ‘big advantage’ for their political campaign is a complete disgrace, and is exactly the kind of politics that needs to change," Burton said in a statement. "Barack Obama will turn the page on these failed policies and this cynical and divisive brand of politics so that we can unite this nation around a common purpose to finish the fight against al Qaeda."

Earlier: McCain criticizes adviser's terrorism comments

Filed under: John McCain • Popular Posts
soundoff (271 Responses)
  1. McCain is losing his bearings again

    I no longer feel safe with McCain in the race. He should drop out and end his campaign bid.

    I would NEVER vote for anyone that depends on more Americans dying to win an election.


    McCain is TOAST!

    June 23, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  2. Michelle

    this is disgraceful and sorry but nothing would shock me when it comes to the republicans …even an orchestrated terrorism attack to boost MCSame into the white house
    SORRY but thats about how much they are trusted

    June 23, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  3. Peter

    The comment is just a reflection of Republican politics in this current climate. Fear is their friend. A scared public will happily vote for a Republican who can be "tough" on the terrorists.

    June 23, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  4. jaye

    I am utterly disguisted at all the terrorist attack remarks that will "help John McCain."
    Both Black and Bill Kristol should be banished to Afghanistan (away from news microphones) and made to serve in combat alongside our soldiers (remember our soldiers, those wonderful men and women risking their lives every day).
    The McCain campaigh has completely shamed itself and should just go away.
    McCain whines about Senator Obama changing his mind on campaign finance, yet allows his staff/supporters to make terrorist comments.
    John McCain and his campaign are a disgrace.

    June 23, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  5. Ann

    Black is political advisor strategist...of course he'de make a comment like that, of course it's crossed his mind. It doesn't mean he'de plot an attack. I'm sick of how overblown everybody's reactions are. It seem everybody's comments have to carry n impossible moral weight. If you don't vote for Mc Cain you're a socialist. If you don't vote for Obama you're a racist. If you don't stand by Hilary, you're a mysoginist or a traitor. Sometimes I don't think I'll last till November. Stupid article. Stupid reactions. Could we be rational and vote on opinions, not in relflex to hurt feelings or fear?
    Obamo 08

    June 23, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  6. Gilbert

    Mr. Black's comments on a terrorist attack only goes to prove what the Bush/McCain administration really believes behind closed doors. The GOP is a shame and have killed to many young people in their terrorist activities. GO OBAMA!!!

    June 23, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  7. Haley

    Fire him!!!

    June 23, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  8. JOHN


    June 23, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  9. DOH!!!

    Another one bites the dust

    June 23, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  10. jack

    WHY didn't the article mention McCain denouncing the statement as soon as possible?

    June 23, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  11. Roy Stureen

    Just because a question is asked does not mean it is deserving of an answer. "Why do you ask?" "Did you have something specific in mind?" "Don't you have any sense of decency?" "Is your mother still hooking under a fictitious name?" All of the above.

    June 23, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  12. Matt

    Hypothetical situation:

    A senior Obama aide is asked "Don't Obama's chances of winning increase as the economy continues to worsen?"

    How should the aide answer? Obviously, if the economy gets worse between now and November, the anger against Bush and Republicans, including McCain, is going to grow and make Obama more appealing.

    So if the aide is honest, they would say that the worse the economy gets, the better Obama's chances get. Even though that is true, I seriously doubt Obama is hoping the economy gets worse, just as any reasonable person would doubt McCain, or Mr. Black, is hoping for a terrorist attack this fall.

    Acknowledging an obvious reality does not reveal any sinister intentions.

    June 23, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  13. TEXAN

    WACKO !!! Just like McCain...not looking out for what is best for our country. GO OBAMA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 23, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  14. Tom H

    Pretty good deal, you press on with a failed campaign, lend yourself the bulk of the money to keep it going, then extort repayment from others afterward.

    Just Clinton being Clinton I guess.

    June 23, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  15. Grace

    It is amazing that so many people are so taken in by fancy rhetoric and empty promises. Senator McCain has two sons serving in the military with one of them in Iraq; do you REALLY think he would intentionally put his sons at risk? But then, with the exception of a few 'thinking' individuals, I guess you probably would.

    It is unfortunate – no it is disgraceful and disgusting that you would take an individual who served his country well and who was held captive for five years – to defame him as most of you in this comment area have done. You don't have to like him and you don't have to vote for him but you really do need to open your eyes as to who is really the big threat here. And it isn't McCain.

    June 23, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  16. Doc Sinn

    The fact that he claimed he didnt recall the comment should speak volumes to some of you.

    When you let go of you anger, let go of your hate, let go of your fear.....

    And just look at the two candidates, what they represent and what they have stood for.......

    And just think about what the American people as a whole are suffering through.....

    The choice is dirt simple.

    No one in their right mind would cast a vote for the GOP and John McCain.

    June 23, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  17. Jody Monroe

    Black should have said, "We all hope and pray that a terrorist attack does not happen. But if it does, Senator McCain will be the most equipped to handle the situation." I know McCain certainly does NOT want a terrorist attack!!!

    This reporter really "led" Black into this response with the way he phrased the question. Bad job on the news interviewer's end! "Boo" to the reporter.

    June 23, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  18. Porter

    They asked the question and he gave an honest answer. What's the problem?

    June 23, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  19. Scare Tactics Won't Work

    Soooo....is all the money we're spending on the war REALLY going to fund the war?? The Obama camp would be dragged thru the mun if one of them has made such a insensitive statement. So the GOP is counting on another attack to scare us into to voting for McBush? Say goodbye to ANY chance you had at my Vote.

    June 23, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  20. America

    Call me when this idiot resign. He seems detached because he used to work for brutal dictators such as Mabuto of Congo. Shame on Charlie Black.

    June 23, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  21. Woman In California For Obama

    The people McWar surrounds himself with are the kinds of people who orchestrate his way of thinking. War, war and more war! This gets them excited. Black only said what they have been thinking all along. It just came out in public this time instead of behind closed doors. Again, NOT MY SONS McWar. Not my sons.

    June 23, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
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