June 23rd, 2008
03:45 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain criticizes adviser's terrorism comments

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/23/art.mccainadv.ap.jpg caption="McCain adviser Charlie Black."]FRESNO, California (CNN) - Sen. John McCain distanced himself Monday from comments made by a senior campaign adviser suggesting that McCain would stand to benefit politically from a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

In an interview with Fortune magazine, McCain senior adviser Charlie 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.

Bhutto’s killing, Black said, was an “unfortunate event.” But, he argued, McCain’s “knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who's ready to be Commander-in-Chief. And it helped us."

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

Campaigning in California, McCain shook his head when asked by CNN about Black’s comments.

“I cannot imagine why he would say it,” he said at a press conference. “It’s not true. I’ve worked tirelessly since 9/11 to prevent another attack on the United States of America. My record is very clear.”

McCain cited his work on the Senate Armed Services Committee and his role in creating the 9/11 Commission in describing his efforts to stop terrorist attacks on American soil.

“If he said that, and I do not know the context, I strenuously disagree,” McCain said of Black.

On the day Bhutto was assassinated, McCain seemed to suggest the calamity could offer him some political benefit.

“I’m the one with the experience, the knowledge and the judgment," he told CNN's Dana Bash on December 27. "So perhaps it may serve to enhance those credentials.”

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. carlo

    I don't see how anyone can justify these comments. Obama's advisor Samantha Powers was fired for calling Clinton a monster, even though a lot of people agree. What Black said is what a lot of people agree with; however, the media called for Obama to fire an UNPAID ADVISOR. Black is McCain's SENIOR ADVISOR, yet the calls for his firing have yet to surface. McCain has had more gaffes, misstatements, blunders, flip flops, and out right lies since this election started, yet the media seems hypnotized by his baby back ribs or something, because he's never called on any of it. Then Obama detractors accuse the media of being in the tank for Obama. I don't understand how anyone could say that after the media spent a month discussing Obama's pastor at a church he rarely attended.

    I just wish people would just come out and say why they're really not voting for Obama. I'd feel better. I appreciate honest bigots, racists, and rednecks. I'm from the South, so I guess I'm used to honest racists.

    June 23, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  2. The New Karl Rove is Born

    Why do the Republicans want us to Die...be afraid....be ATTACKED?
    ALL for an election? It not just okay that 3,000 people died on 9/11..it's not just okay we've gone to war and 163,000 (+) of our young people stand in harms way and 4,000 (+) have died for a war that should not have been authorized, it's not just okay for these people to get on TV and mislead us, its not just okay that so many people died in flood waters in New Orleans, Its not just okay to introduce people like Rev. Wright to the public based on a few sound bites, that may not reflect his views, but can be controversial if taken out of context....IT JUST NOT OKAY FOR THE LAST 7 Years that have put us in a recession, caused a major housing problem, and put over 300,000 fellow Americans out of work.

    What do these people want from us? Why do they continue to target our biggest concern another Attack to change our perception on he can lead us better? THIS IS JUST A JOB.

    June 23, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
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