June 30th, 2008
10:24 AM ET
15 years ago

McCain campaign: Clark's comments 'sad'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/06/30/clark.mccain/art.clark.gi.jpg caption=" Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who ran for president in 2004, has questioned Sen. John McCain's qualifications."](CNN) - Sen. John McCain's campaign on Monday called retired Gen. Wesley Clark's remarks that McCain lacks command experience "the lowest form of politics."

Clark, a military adviser for Sen. Barack Obama, questioned Sunday whether McCain's military experience qualified him to be commander in chief.

The McCain campaign has called on Obama to condemn the comments.

"I think it's kind of sad," McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said Monday on CNN's "American Morning."

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. Phil, FL

    Talk about sad – what about the fear-mongering

    When Obama is President, he will have access to the same military advisors as McWarmonger.

    Since Obama listens, and McWarmonger can't hear or remember, I'll take my chances with the younger, more vital guy, instead of the one that is pasty looking and deaf and dumb.

    June 30, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. Cathy

    I consider myself a level headed person and I just don't see where Clark "attacked" McCain's service record. Clark gave praise and respect to McCain’s service. It is clear, Clark basically said being in the military and a POW doesn’t mean you are ready to be commander-in-chief.

    McCain’s camp is TRYING to make a big deal out of this comment then it is really is because they are hanging on by only their finger nails. It’s actually pathetic how McCain’s camp is trying to twist Clark’s statement to say that Obama is attacking his military services…it’s actually very sad. Obama has ALWAYS praised and respected McCain’s service to our country. So Smith and the rest of McCain's camp just need to stop this pitiful attempt to make an issue out of NOTHING!!!!

    June 30, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. Mauri

    I would like to have General Clark's opinion concerning Obama's credentials that make him ready to be Commander-InChief. Now let's see, is it the outrageous number of times he voted "Present" while serving in a public office. Or how about all those contributions to the public while actively serving his 18 months in the United States Senate. Oh I know! He was against the war in Iraq - but how are we, the people, supposed to know that? Hillary Clinton confirmed it: Obama made a speech.

    June 30, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. mitchell hussein martin

    sad for you mccain!clark is a REAL american war hero,who handled the bosnian conflict,without a single american life lost.mccain is no hero.he surrendered.

    June 30, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. Independent Voter

    Sour grapes. And a guy who will say ANYTHING to be picked by BO for the VP slot. If one ever wondered if Clark was presidential material, that question was answered with this comment.

    If memory serves, wasn't Clark CANNED?

    Hint: The correct answer is YES.

    June 30, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. Loretta from California

    Didn't the McCain say this about Senator Obama? Why should he apologize?

    Finally, we are beginning to see some courage among our Democratic Leadership. Don't apologize for anything. Hold true to your statements.


    June 30, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. Were NOT your friends!

    The repubs railed against Kerry's service in 2004, so I see NO problem with giving them a taste of their own medicine. They deserve it 1000%!

    Obama '08

    June 30, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. Bibek

    Truth hurts McShame?

    June 30, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    What is "sad" about a valid question? I've wondered the same thing myself. What does the POW experience bring to the table? McCain is not running for President, he's running to be Commander-In-Chief. There's a difference you know.

    One candidate has the nod for grit, courage and determination. The other candidate has the nod for education and statesmanship.

    The President has many duties, responsibilities. Being C-I-C is just one of many responsiblities, and far from being the most important. Even Bush stated that he should rely on his commanders in the field, and not back seat drive a war from the White House. But, did he?

    June 30, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. Effe, Brooklyn

    As the first comment said it was fair game when the GOP was doing it, but now it's ok. Well, double standard anybody?! Besides, Clark's right!

    June 30, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. JIM...TX

    Guess the truth hurts. There were/are MANY proud military veterans out there and that alone does NOT make them POTUS material. If thats all McSame brings to the table then the Republicans are grasping at straws trying to get him elected!

    June 30, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. Sheilah

    Newflash–I don't care about John McCain's war record. I care about the soldiers who are dying today. I want them home, and not fighting a civil war.

    Obama is my candidate because he is the candidate for change.

    Obama 08

    June 30, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. Jeff

    I am not a fan of McCain but Clark is a moron if he really believes that Oblahblah is equiped to be commander in chief. What's he going to do, talk the enemy to death? I have no confidence in Obama to formulate a reasonable economic plan, health care plan, education plan, or foreign policy. I despise republicans, I despise Obama. I'll be staying at home in November.

    June 30, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. Mr Fix it (Sanford Florida)

    This is what i a have always been trying to say.
    Having been in war as a military guy and having been tortured and played tough on pressure of your captives does not make you an intellect on foreign policy or as a commandor in chief.

    What he endured in his era is exactly what was expected of him as a soldier.

    Clark on the other hand has the experience to lead a country. Check his record on KOSOVO if i am not mistaken.

    No one should apologize for stating a fact. Now this is soldier to soldier debate.

    June 30, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. The Clear Thinking Indepedent

    Hurt feelings from true statements do not call for an apology.

    No one had to twist or destort John McCain's words, deeds or actions to make this point. He has clearly attempted to walk a line to lead most Americans to give him points for being a former prisoner of war.

    Our country can't afford to elect a man President whose world view is impacted by a 40 -year-old POW experience that bears little relevance to the world of today.

    Again the McCain camp stepped in this "do-do" when they tried to run the " I know war" ads with Mr. McCain.

    Don't blame the Dems because the American people don't find this a credible topic in this year's election.

    The fact that the messager (Clark) was the commander of many battlions in Europe, while join McCain never even commanded a rifle company is poetic justice.

    June 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. Cleavette

    Liberman should be arrested as a terrorist and should be sent to GITMO. The only people that could know of an attack would be the terrorist themselves. I would have to agree with Wesley Clark. There were thousands of POW's from Vietnam, does that make all of them qualfied to be president?

    June 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. Greg. PA

    What a coward! Attack an American hero! Get lost Gen. Clark, you two bit turn coat!

    June 30, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. Connie

    I believe Clark was answering a question, but as John McBush's campaign has said, if the candidate brings it to the front then it is open for discussion. It is certain that John McBush has ran on his service record. His campaign likes to throw every thing at Obama.I guess if this comes from an Obama supporter we will hear about this all week , unlike Mr.Black and Senator Liberman openly saying that the USA will be attacked.Will it be on their shoulders if we are attacked?How about McBush going to Canada or Bush going to Israel and putting Senator Obama down. Please google Veterans against McCain , or Huffington Post to find the truth about McBush.

    Connie from indiana

    June 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  19. Realistic

    Clark is right: Getting shot down is not evidence of military leadership. In fact, McCain has very little experience in anything like a leadership role.

    June 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  20. Bill

    Clark is a loser.

    June 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. Sidney McCain

    The fact about McCain is he is a hero of sorts, but is a pro war ex military person who clearly has a limited vision of what response the US should have to foreign issues the right person for the COMMANDER IN CHIEF? Maybe he can go advise military on strategy, but the one in charge needs to be able to weigh all sides. And btw, isn't having a single response to issues, force, telling the "enemies" exactly what we will do in every situation? I know Repubs think, "we'll scare 'em", but it's bad strategy, its the ultimate play telegraph.

    June 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. Serge the DEM

    Clark has every right to challenge McCain's military experience, in that McCain claims it makes him "ready" to be CIC. Clark was a 4-star general who helped diffuse the situatrion Kosovo a while back. That's executive leadership in action. Clark is someone we should all listen to.

    Clark struck McCain right where it hurts... that nether region called THE TRUTH! Just because McCain got shot down and tortured in Vietnam doesn't make him qualified to be president. If anything, we should question his war stance and wonder if it comes from a deep rooted resentment to anti-american regimes.

    Lets face it, the GOP is freaking out because Clark showed them how wobbly McCain's "experience" really is. If he's going to use his military past as one of his main strengths, he better be ready to justify how that experience will make him qualified for the presidency.

    June 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. JIM...TX

    Jeff...let's see. We've had a WARMONGERING President for the past 8 years and look at where that got us! I'm all for ANYBODY running the country that doesn't want to "shoot first and ask questions later"....We can't afford that mentality anymore at the expense of our young people.

    June 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  24. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    The Democrats have a real problem of making contrasts in national security and the economy. When it comes to issues, Obama prefers to count the electoral votes. Clark has very short memory that he worked under Bill Clinton who was a lawyer by profession with no military command experience too. Senator Hussein is a far more risky or threat to national security himself . I just find it funny that the Democrats tend to see things as all white. Americans must take the extra mile and DEMAND an answer from Senator Hussein.

    June 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |

    To Jeff!

    Now thats a great Idea. Stay home in November or ride the Obama train.

    Cho Choooo!

    June 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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