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. sh

    Here we go again. We talk about how military is in power in other countries how about in USA looks like ex military is making sure the grip they have on power remains in their hands by playing that they are the only patriotics and everyone else is ................ Fear mongoring will not work. This is the same military people who are anxoius to go into Iran to win elctions based on fear. Voters do not let it happen in 2008.

    June 30, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. Independent

    Alice from Florida...Hillary has lost the primary and is supporting the presumptive Democratic nominee. Get over that...you loser!!

    June 30, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. Mika

    Any the Truth is when McCain was shot down in Vietnam and held as POW in Hanoi Hilton, Obama was in the same region, he was in Indonesia, an Islamic country, growing up and schooling that. That's the Truth. Oh yeah, teh only combat Obama has seen in his life was thru the computer games, video games his daughters played. As for Clark, nothing smell better than the words and whiff of the perfume prince. Everyone serves in the military knows what a perfume prince means. Go check it out.

    June 30, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  4. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    REALLY........ TRUTH? After his party lied to us about Iraq? WE ARE IN IRAQ BECAUSE OF BUSH LIES AND MCCAIN WANTS TO TELL THE TRUTH?????????????????????????????????????????????????

    A VOTE FOR MCCAIN IS A VOTE FOR MORE WAR, ISN'T $1.38 BILLION A DAY SPENT IN IRAQ ENOUGH?

    ISN'T $10 TRILLION IN NATIONAL DEBT OWED TO THE SAUDIS, CHINA AND DUBAI ENOUGH?

    ISN'T 4,099 DEAD, OVER 30 THOUSAND MAIMED TROOPS ENOUGH?

    WHEN WILL WE...... THE PEOPLE...... END THIS MADNESS?

    June 30, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. Ian M

    I don't know why they're defending themselves, their attacks have smeared the Obamas, they can take a little too.

    June 30, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. Suzy

    Wes Clark, the fired ex-NATO commander, should try to hide his bitterness a little more. And for the Obamatons on this board (have you changed your middle name to Hussein yet?), you can mock McCain's service to this county only after you serve in uniform yourself. What has your candidate done to serve his country? Communist - I mean community - activism doesn't count.

    I hope you keep it up because the rest of the county, including the millions who served in uniform who will be voting this year, are disgusted with you mocking a hero's military service.

    June 30, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. FactCheck

    It depends on which version of the truth you want. The Keating 5 have their very own brand.

    June 30, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  8. Susan

    mbush would not know the truth if it bit him in the butt!!!

    June 30, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  9. Steve

    i Agree with Reality King, let the news influence everybody, why dont they just say that they support Obama and do not support the young men who are risking their lives for American Freedom, i geuss we went into Iraq for oil when we are paying record prices, Obama= Jimmy Carter, if he gets the nod, ill see you Obama supporters in line for gas

    Mccain = Energy, Peace, Prosperity

    June 30, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. nitro

    When the republicans ripped John Kerry in 2004 with that swift boat crap no one said a thing. Now that Wes Clark calls Sleepy McCain out its the most dispicable thing to say. What goes arround comes arround and now the shoe is on the other foot and you dont like it one bit. LIke it or Leave it.

    June 30, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. ED FL

    Mccain come clean on the truth about your lobbyists dealings and the ladies they provide for your vote. You have to know the truth to speak the truth. Try it you might like it.

    June 30, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. Reyes

    someone plese retire these old hypocritical hacks already They mack me sick

    June 30, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. flavoter

    McCain has to many personal issues to deal with. Any man that would run out on there family is a coward in my book. Military service or not. Family comes first if he ran out on his family what will he do to the country ? God...Family...Country... Mccain failed the first two

    Is McCain there Manchurian Candidate, he does not seem to maintain a constant stand on anything that pertains to my world .
    He's flip-flopping all over the place (he's more like a pinball machine.

    I really worry about this mans mental stablity it scares me. Look at his history this man is a follower not a leader. A maverick can also be a sign of mental issues. In most work places a hot head would not be tolerated. So why should the highest office in the country be any different. We need someone cool calm and able to negotiate.

    June 30, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. J, Denver CO

    It's true, just because he was a POW doesn't mean he's qualified to be president!

    June 30, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. Vahe

    A republican telling the truth...That's a good one.

    June 30, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  16. Alonzo Demetrius

    So what do all you Clark supporters say now that Obama has rejected his comments?

    June 30, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. Ted van Tol

    Dear Americans,

    I just read that your President is preparing money for a new battleground in Iran.

    He is realy capable to start another war and stay in two others

    Is n it time to kick him out of the White house?
    And is it realy possible that McCain wil be your next President?
    Are you all sheeps outthere?

    If thats a fact, Rev. Wright wil gets his right after all, America wil be
    doomned.

    There is just one person who can get you out of this terrible mess
    and thats Barack Hussein Obama.

    Please Americans dont make the wrong decison this time because
    you wil vote for war or peace, for isolation in this world of to become frends with so many countrys.

    We, here in Europ are getting desperit of the American leaders.
    Your great economy is going down to a 3 world country
    and you wil not be the leading country of the free word enymore.

    Unless your leaders change there policy you wil see more 9/11
    in the future and that would be terrible.

    Barack is a gift of heaven and it looks like he will be rejected by
    his own people. Dont let that happen. Go on the street and demands
    the change of American policy here is realy no time to lose.

    Make peace and no war!

    Barack Hussein Obama for President!

    Europe for Obama!

    June 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. Jeff Longley

    All of you Obama supporters in here are a bunch of HIPPIES and you have never served in the ARMED FORCES. This is why you guys speak ill of John McCain serving and being a POW. The man has done a lot more than just being a POW. John McCain is the ranking member of the SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE. You Obama supporters are so ignorant. So what if this doesn't get posted, at least I said it and at least you read it!!

    June 30, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  19. Michael

    All of you who seeming never tire of uttering the banal formulation that "Just because Senator McCain was a prisoner of war for five years does not qualify him to be President," you are absolutely right. However, I would argue at least the equivalence of that qualification to Obama's cowardly term in the Illinois legislature. I'm beseeching all of you: name one major accompllishment of Obama.

    June 30, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  20. Anne Chovies

    Did I miss something? Everyone's all ready to dump on McCain's military record as being insufficient qualifications for the presidency. But what of Obama? What military experience does he have that is a better qualification? Has there been anyone since Eisenhauer who had a millitary record that would have been enough? And how much of an indicator did Eisenhauer's military experience prove to be? I think we have a tempest in a teapot here, once again demonstrating that rhetoric is like statistics; you can "prove" anything you want with it.

    June 30, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. Andrew

    You know that Bud Day was a member of the Swift Boat Veterans...

    June 30, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  22. Helene

    What a group McSame has gathered ! The Truth squad ! Starting with Judas Lieberman and now this !

    June 30, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. Time to move on

    TRUTH?Mccain that has changed positions on every BIG issue..... hahhahah .OBAMA is the real deal.
    OBAMA 08

    June 30, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  24. Kevin in Dallas

    While Gen. Clark is correct that being a POW alone doesn't make McCain qualified to server as commander-in-chief, his attempt to imply that McCain and Obama are on equal footing in their readiness to be commander-in-chief is pathetic.

    Being a POW doesn't qualify you to be commander-in-chief.

    But what about graduating from the Naval Academy, 23 years of military service which includes combat experience, and he's also the ranking minority member of the Committee on Armed Services.

    Where as Obama has seen no combat, not served in the military, but he is a member of the Committee on Homeland Security.

    So who has more preparation?

    June 30, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. YOU ARE RIGHT! BRIAN !!!

    BRIAN FROM GREEN COVE SPRINGS FL ........ONE HAS TO WONDER…..SO MANY POWs LEFT BEHIND……IF MR MCCAIN DIDNT COME FROM A WEATHY FAMILY AND HIS FATHER WAS NOT A US NAVY ADMIRALWOULD HE STILL BE IN VEITNAM..HOW MANY POWs AND MIAs DIDNT RETURN HOME…WAS MR. MCCAIN A PRIORITY BECAUSE HIS FATHER WAS A UNITED STATES ADMIRAL…DO WE REALLY NEED ANOTHER WEATHY SILVER SPOONER IN THE WHITEHOUSE…..YOU TELL US SAVING PRIVATE MCCAIN.................BRIAN.........THIS really something to think about
    and make me SAD!!!! THANKS BRIAN

    June 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
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