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. ms.sims

    Nobody is doubting his military record...we just doubt everything else about him. Being a great fighter isn't goin to help the struggling economy. We already have a president who is a "great fighter" GWB and you see where we are now!!

    June 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  2. mitchell hussein martin

    you wouldn't know the truth if it smacked you in the face.your entire party lies to the american people,and attacks sovereign nations.you should all be charged with war crimes,but,democrats dont have the cajones,to make you pay for your crimes.republicans will destroy this country,with more illegal wars.they are already planning another terrorist attack,here at home,so they will have an excuse to attack iran,all so they can influence your votes ,this fall.john mccain will destroy whats left of our great nation,when bush starts another war with iran.

    June 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. Jeff Longley

    How about you tell us the truth about that Straight Talk Express. We know that Obama has money, but Obama does not have that kind of money. Where in the heck did you get the finances to do that to a BOEING JET for the entire presidential election.

    June 30, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  4. Ado

    "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."

    Is there anything wrong with this comment? I don't see anything wrong with it? My father was a POW, that doesn't mean he's qualified to run a country.

    June 30, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. AREYOUFORREAL

    Copy Cat!

    June 30, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. R.I.F.

    The truth is just because you were a POV, it doesn't make you an automatic qualifier for President. Wes Clark didn't make anything up in his statement. It probably wasn't the smartest thing to say out loud but he wasn't smearing.

    June 30, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. Enlightened Voter

    Just because Mccain served in the military doesn't mean he is qualified to run the country. I was in for twenty years, should I be president too? To be honest I think I he least qualified, he has shown bad judgement i.e. gas tax holiday, 45 new nuclear plants, voted 95% for bush and he has a horrible temper. Barack has shown extremely sound judgement and besides he knows how to surround himself with smart people.

    June 30, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. Randy - Denver

    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.
    ______________________________________________________
    Can someone point out the "lie" that McCain is defending himself from? My father was a POW in Korea, my brother one in Vietnam (both Army, both Rangers.. now you know why I went Navy) and yet, love them like I do, I do not think EITHER would be a good President, being a POW does NOT make you Presidential, nor does running a company, it takes the ability to think and weigh options, even ones you are adamantly opposed to, equally and make good decisions and then be flexible enough that when you see something doesn't work (like a gas tax holiday it failed in IL when Obama supported it and so he did not support it when Ms. Clinton and Mr. McCain were pandering on about it) to change and move towards something that works (invading Iraq was a stupendous faillure but bush could not move on and correct that failure).

    June 30, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. Obama = Carter's 2nd term

    So I guess Wes does not think Obama is anywhere close to being able to handle Commander-in-chief. If he think McCain is not qualified than putting that same rule to Obama. WOW Obama is very lacking.

    The only thing Wes did not say is "I want to be VP too"

    June 30, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  10. Frank

    This just shows how low you will go to back a Democrat for President. Gen Wes Clark's statement was despicable and self serving.

    June 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. Montana is Obama Country

    right leave a comment.. but when you click it dissappears.. why ??

    June 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. Alice in Florida

    Good idea, McCain – you're going to need it when Obama starts calling you a racist, and you KNOW that's going to happen.

    All Obama knows how to do is make speeches and cry racism! He's a one-trick pony – I mean phoney!

    PUMA PAC

    June 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. California Gold

    I agree with General Wes Clark (ret.). The fact Senator McCain served in the military doesn't not grant him anything other than veteran status. It no more means he is qualified to be commander in chief than Hillary Clinton.

    Frankly, I am concerned that McCain doesn't "get it" because he was a POW during the last 5 years of the Vietnam War. He did not experience the anti-war movement. He did not experience the over whelming public sentiment against war. He was completely in a news black out and is still out-of-touch with those who weren't in a news black out.

    Frankly his gung-ho, wage war for 100 years in Iraq position, his campaign's position that an attack on our country would benefit his campaign is the real "Truth Squad".

    June 30, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. Know the facts

    If the "left" and the "right" are attacking your military record, then maybe there's some reason they're doing so... Why are some of McCain's records still sealed? Why hasn't he released them to the public? Instead of launching an anti-smear site, just release the records.

    Furthermore, if you're running on your wartime experience, isn't it valid to ask exactly what kind of experience it is that you actually have? One can respect one's service, and still want to know the validity of the experience you claim.

    It was my understanding that all men are created equal here in America. If you could ask about Kerry's credentials, why is it a "smear" to ask about yours?

    June 30, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. Anne

    My father was a POW in the 2nd world war. I do not believe however that being a POW gave him or anyone else a right to be president of the USA or prime minister of England.

    June 30, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. Michael

    Why don't you, Senator Obama, show us you're nothing more than a partisan hack by condemning the galactically stupid remarks of Wesley Clark, who is pandering to be the V.P. candidate by making scurrilous statements against a real war hero, not a desk jockey, at your behest. Does your hypocrisy know no bounds?

    June 30, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  17. Obama/Hillary 08

    I wonder if Joe Liberman is the that is going to launche the new terror attaack. Please stop scaring people for political reason. America, it is not true no terror attack in 2009. If there is one Joe Lieberman and the republican party is behind it.

    June 30, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. If not Hillary....then McCain

    Good for you John McCain! I am sick of Obama spewing lies constantly and no one calls him on it.

    June 30, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. B

    "Getting shot down in a fighter plane is not a qualification to be president."

    This is an unremarkable and true statement. The McCain camp's contrived outrage over this statement seems incredibly forced and insincere.

    June 30, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. SD

    He can start by talking about the ill-conceived war in Iraq by his buddy George W.

    June 30, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. Cathy

    Everyone commends the service to our country by McCain. Obama has always expressed great respect of McCain's services. But I completely agree, serving in the military and being a POW doesn't mean you will make the better president…plain and simple. McCain is just trying to make more of the statement then it really was...

    But my question to McCain...will the Truth Squad including his REAL position and truth about Keating 5, immigration, off-shore drilling and economy. I think not... McCain has changed his position on every real important issue that the voters face in this election. But in the end McCain will just keep doing the same o' same old. McCain can't be trusted at all!!! McCain just can't wait to send us into war with Iran.

    June 30, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. Anonymous

    So just for the record, so I understand this. Since the president obviously has no control over the U.S. being attacked, at least according to Liberman..since he is saying no matter what, there was nothing Clinton could have done or Bush could have done (I read into this by him claiming that we will most likely have an attack in 09, and even though he knows it is coming, can't do anything about it), then why would I want to put a president (McCain) in there who is going to follow the same protocal as the past, thus allowing this ridulous spiral of attacks in the first year of a new president (again according to Liberman), to continue.

    June 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  23. Crush Rush

    Do they wear Jack boots and goose step too?

    June 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. Bishop

    First of all, Mr. Bush was an average student, right? He also has less experience than that of Sen. John McCain. However, they say that Bush's decision to go to war and the status of the war are good. How is it that an average student can run the country and fight a war and no problem? But someone, by no means average, is seen as solely inexperience and would not be trusted to run a war. Is it that people feel sorry for the once P.O.W? Do we think that being captive and stating that he won't leave until his men are free too is a CLEAR symbol that we can rely on him??? What does being captive have to do with competence??? What about voting records??? Anyone can vote or propose something that might work, but who knows...

    June 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Truth Squad..?

    Republican? Truth? uh..... yeah right... how about Flip-Flopper Corps

    June 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11