June 30th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain campaign launches new 'Truth Squad'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/30/art.mccaintruth.ap.jpg caption="McCain is launching a truth squad."](CNN) - John McCain’s campaign announced Monday it was launching a new Truth Squad to defend the presumptive Republican nominee’s military record after controversial comments by former Gen. Wes Clark, an Obama supporter, who said Sunday that the Arizona senator’s service in Vietnam did not mean that he was qualified to serve as commander-in-chief.

Leaders of the latest group include McCain’s fellow Vietnam prisoners of war Air Force Col. Bud Day and Marine Lt.Col. Orson Swindle, along with former Navy pilot Carl Smith, who served with him.

Earlier in the primary season, the campaign created a similar effort in advance of the presidential primary in South Carolina, where McCain’s 2000 White House bid was derailed by rumors spread by supporters of then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

The South Carolina group included Adjutant General Stan Spears, state Attorney General Henry McMaster, House Speaker Bobby Harrell and Seventh Circuit Solicitor Trey Gowdy.

Earlier this month, Barack Obama’s campaign launched an aggressive effort to respond to and discredit e-mail rumors about the presumptive Democratic nominee, including a new Web site that gives supporters the ability to upload their address books for rapid response messages and a chart that lays out alleged sources of misinformation.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (272 Responses)
  1. Johny

    Whether you people like it or not, Mr. Clark has the right to state his opinion. This is America after all. Personally I am sick to death of both parties on congress. It is time to elect an independent for President.

    p.s. Some of you seriously need to learn how to spell, or use spellchecker.

    June 30, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  2. sn

    Just whose truth is this going to be? There are already sites that
    give NON- BIAS facts...truths.

    June 30, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. Maggie in Indiana

    Obama's newapproach to campaigning is not so new is it? Just another left-wing politician throwing more mud in the eye of a good man and a celebrated war vetern. Shameful and down right mean. We can expect more of this from this Obama guy in the future.

    Socialism is a virus that spreads quickly and kills whatever it infects.

    June 30, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. jackson from Iowa

    It doesnt make him anymore qualified , what else has he done . MY HUSBAND WAS AT THE FRONT LINE. It didnt get him any benifits because it was a conflict not a war so where is his experiance?

    June 30, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. Glenn

    Big to do about nothing! Their BS is right out of the Karl Rove Play Book. No one is disparging McBush's military record. Everyone is pointing out exactly what everyone already knows: McSame's military experience, his POW experience and his hero status have nothing to do with whether it qualifies him to be Commander-in-Chief. All of his military experience, his POW experience and hero status DO NOT EQUATE with the abilty or the intelligence to lead our country as President. History is loaded with American military commanders and heros who were elected President and were horrible Presidents. The two sets of experiences simply don't equate. We all know that! Karl Rove and his swift boaters are not going to fool the American public anymore. This past election season has shown when the GOP uses it's old tactics it sways the voters in opposite direction. We all know they are going to do it….let them. It"s not going to work this year. In fact, it cheapens MCShame's honor and past, supposedly the exact thing they are purporting to defend.

    June 30, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. Leejay

    A truth squad is okay as long as every body tells the truth. Start with McSaim. He and his cronies skewered John Kerry on his war record, but now he is saying that he does not like this type of politics. Well he started it in the last election. They are the ones who discredited John Kerry, so now they are all so circumspect? Gimme a break.

    Also, if experience makes for a better president, would we be in the mess we are in now? George Bush's cabinet is made up of experienced men from his father's era and they made a mess of this administration. (Rumsfeld, Cheney, Baker) all these are "old boys" from the "old regime" and they plunged us into a war of no return, spending $12 billion a month in Iraq while Iraqi veterans are returning to no jobs and suffering homeless. You know what, let us elect a new face, with new ideas, He could not do any worse than the last 8 years. So experience is only good for more of the same bad decisions.

    June 30, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. Stacy

    McCain's military experience outweighs Obama's military experience, hands down.

    No need for a "Truth Squad" to figure out the obvious.

    June 30, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Chris Lee

    Launching a Truth Squad? Does this mean he is going to stop lying about his past mistakes and positions as well as his opponent's qualifications?

    June 30, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. Jones

    Why dosn't Obama release his military records? Oh yeah thats right because he never served. He does however have experience that McCain dosen't. His experience using cocain comes to mind. Obama also has experience dealing with terrorist, like having tea with his good friend Bill Ayers.

    June 30, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. Jaycee

    John McCain is a big hypocrite, talking out of both sides of his mouth. He was the orchestrator of the Swift Boat attacks on John Kerry's war record, and now he is crying foul like a little senile fool. He may not remember what he did in 2004, but some of us out here do. So he should accept that what is good for the goose will also be good for the gander. All the experienced generals in Washington still put us in Iraq forever with no end in sight. If that is what experience can do for a country, I say, No Thanks. Let's go with the New Kid on the Block. Because he has a fresh insight into what not to lead us into.

    June 30, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. Tony C.

    RTRUTH SQUAD = SWIFT BOAT = Lyning, cheating, dishonest REPUBLICAN!

    Pay attention people!

    June 30, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. JA Cook

    A Truth Squad that consists of formerly honorable men who have already forgone truth in favor of smear?

    I lost a lot of respect for John McCain when he stood with Bush during the Swift Boat ads instead of denouncing the unfair attacks on a fellow veteran with a truly honorable record. I can't find any sympathy for him now.

    June 30, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Phil Newton Oregon

    With swiftboaters on board, McCain's "Truth Squad" has all the authenticity of a Florida recount.

    June 30, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  14. CNN

    All you Obamaholics just pipe down. Clark is a fool for even bringing up the so called unqualifications of MCCain when his candidate is far less "qualified".

    In about five months from now, Hopeandchange will recede back into Chicago suburbs of unimportance...

    June 30, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. Concerned in kansas

    ..I have been a die-hard republican for 34 years and have voted the same all these years....even when I knew that it wasn't warranted but I must say that Gen. Wes Clarke ( who is a highly decorated military personnel himself ) is right ! since when did flying a fighter plane qualify one for president? We as a nation should be proud of all those who have fought in various crisis on behalf of the United States whether they were taken prisoners, killed, maimed or returned home safely. McCain is not the only prisoner of war from the Viet Nam era. Let's not get blind sided by all of this "prisoner of war " rhetoric. The man continues to thrive on past glory and thinks that that qualifies him for the presidency. He and his campaign bristle at the thought that anybody would have the balls to evaluate and or question his leadership abilities. Well, Gen. Clarke just did that !...and there is nothing to apologize for . ...the truth is the truth and McCain and his campaign would have to get off their high horse and stop yelling foul when they themselves are part and parcel of smear campaign through ther surrogates. A reminder to John Mccain and his campaign: this is still a democracy as pacticed in The good 'ole USA. and people are entitled to their opinions..whether you like it or not !!!!

    June 30, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. Janet Jacme

    Senator McCain -

    Will you be picking a former Vietnam POW as your Vice Presidential running mate just in case something happens to you?

    June 30, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. Barack Obama is Our 44th president! YES WE CAN !

    Sen. Obama, I love you, we love you , and know you are our next president. But there was no need to reject Gen. Clarks comments – all of us have to face the TRUTH in this matter. Gen. Clark's remarks are not devaluing McCain's service to this country. Gen. Clark made himself very clear on this point, he said: "I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in the armed forces as a prisoner of war. "

    But Gen. Clark's comments regarding McCain's experience/qualifications to be Commander-in-Chief is VALID and CORRECT. Although his service in the war is respected, it does NOT automatically qualify him to be hired for the highest job in the land. He and everyone has to face this FACT ! I am glad Gen. Clark has the courage to speak on this matter.

    Anytime your policies are 95% the same as Bush's – who has the lowest approval rating ever – 26% – you have to be called on this and definitely EVERY intelligent American has to question McCain's wisdom and leadership skills to lead this country. And I can't forget that McCain voted for this dumb war and oh my he wants to keep a US troop presence in Iraq for another 100 years. Now, just this alone speaks volumes about McCain's mindset.

    Additionally, he is so blinded by being a war-monger that it's very difficult for him to entertain the notion of using tough diplomacy with our enemies.

    Oh my, the nation can NOT afford to get it wrong this time. It's long overdue to turn the page on McSame and all of these failed, wrong policies that has NOT made us safe nor prosperous !

    It's time for REAL change in Washington, it's time to elect Barack Obama for president !

    June 30, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    These swift boat men surely knows men from mice.

    June 30, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. The Gonz

    Hey how about the truth squad going after Eltist McSame for not paying taxes for 5 years on 7 HOUSES!
    I guess when you are part of Washington's elite you don't need to pay for things.

    June 30, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Pat Va

    TRUTH SQUAD??? Now does that mean up until now, he HASN'T been telling the truth????

    June 30, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. andrea, Illinois

    Just because I drink a lot of Coke, doesn't qualifies me to run Coke as a CEO......
    Clark is absolutely right!!! VERY GOOD POINT!!!

    Also, I think the "squad" should have the purpose to update/remind McSenile about his flipping and flopping.... How can a candidate contradict himself so often without showing any shame? Totally incredible and untrustworthy.....

    Plus his stupid jokes. Very undiplomatic and unprofessional!!

    June 30, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  22. Jordan

    Sigh, who cares, Just remember!
    Obama is buying the election, just like the cold war!
    We outspent the russians, and won!
    Maybe Obama will pull off his halloween mask before the November Election.
    McCain 08, the only real candidate, and the only one who's actually accomplished something meaningful, unlike "Mr. Yes we Can", I don't even consider Obama qualified to run a Burger King, let alone the most powerful nation in the world.
    Too bad I'm not old enough to vote 🙁

    June 30, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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