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. Abby

    Coping Senator Obama’s campaign, are you? First smart thing you’ve done all year . 🙂

    June 30, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. Susan from Scotts Valley

    Lets make sure it is truth coming out of this new "Truth Squad" because Clark was right. John McCain is a war hero but flying an airplane doesn't make you a Commander in Chief. There are probably other parts of John McCain's service to this country that make him MORE qualified but being a pilot and an LT. in the Navy isn't one of them. I know lots of LTs and while wonderful people, they are at the beginning of their careers as officers – a jump to Admiral would be a big one much less to Commander in Chief.

    June 30, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. Ulysses Carter Jr

    I am very proud to admit to the world that I am a card carrying Clinton Democrat. But I have to admit that John McCain's service and sacrifice during the Viet Nam War is to be respected. Gen. Clark's comments were inappropiate. Sometimes we forget that whether republican or democrat, we're all still americans. Go Obama!

    June 30, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. mitchell hussein martin

    what a contradiction in terms.repubs wouldnt know the truth if it was lying in their lap.

    June 30, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Will

    I know many VA veterans. It doesn't make them qualified to be president of the United States....

    June 30, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. seldon

    "Truth Squad"

    what a great name!!! sounds like a bunch of zombies dispatched from a locker room in the basement of fox news...used to be able to laugh at this kind of stuff before people got lazy-minded and turned into dittoheads...

    June 30, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. Joe Clarke

    I must be missing something. Exactly where did Gen. Clarke question McCain's service record?

    June 30, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. Bulldog

    Clark did not say anything that wasn't factual. McCon's military experience and being a POW may make him a hero but does not qualify him to lead anything, especially the United States of America. The McCon camp loves to tout his military experience as a qualification, but the truth is that it is not a qualification. This is another con job by the McCon camp.

    June 30, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. Vernon

    The American people don't really care for "smear" politics.We only want 3 things from our newly elected president.Remove our troops from Iraq.Lower the gas prices.Fix the economy.

    June 30, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. Tom,Il

    McCain wants to set up Truth Squad?? How about releasing your Militray records so the voters can see your records..Remember, you wanted to see Kerry's records, so he released them...Lets see yours...

    June 30, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. Nia - Phoenix, AZ

    I wonder is this truth squad includes weather or not he has paid his taxes on all seven of his properties up to date. I find it intresting how the Media besides Newsweek is the only one to report that McCain was about to default on his California condo today had his wife not coughed up a little over 6 grand to cover four years of back taxes last Friday. and the rest of the money due today?...Come CNN it's not like you don't know the story....

    June 30, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. GHM

    This is the smartest thing that McCain's campaign could do. However they should use the TRUTH SQUAD to monitor things that McCain and Leiberman are saying regarding terriost attacks. I agree with freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and all the other freedoms that we have in the Greatest country in the world, but I think that there should be something done when elected politicians spout off there mouths trying to put fear in the minds and hearts of the American people. How can McCain think he has anu possibilty of getting any votes if these kind of remarks keep coming from the mouths of spokeman in his campaign. Come on peolpe vote McCain, Liberman, and all the other republicans out of office and start anew with an new chance for the America it once was.

    VOTE FOR OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 30, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    I wish I could vote for John McCain but I just can't. I feel that the democrats have the stronger candidate. And of course If it was a Obama/Clinton ticket, they would be the dream team. Who wouldn't want to vote for them.

    June 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. L

    Mccain is a hero and i have always had respect for him because of his military service. he spent 5 years in a POW camp which can be soul destroying, but he came out strong in character and this was on hs medical records.

    Lets not forget how long he's been a senator for, he not only has a long military record he has a long US senate record, so these 2 qualifications together make him more then qualified to be commander in chief.

    June 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Chipster

    And what exactly did Gen. Clark say that wasn't true? Military service is appreciated and Sen. McCain suffered as much or more than most. However, that alone does not qualify anyone to be President of the United States.

    Will McCain's Truth Squad admit that Gen. Clark spoke the truth or will this Truth Squad make certain that the McCain campaign tells the truth?

    June 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. sherry

    Hes going to need more than a truth squad to get him elected

    I have many friends who are republican that are going to vote for Obama

    McCain save the tax payer his dollar and go retire with you trophy wife princess

    June 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. saga for Obama

    i hope they tell the truth about KEATING 5...
    tax evasion....
    may be they can find the truth as to where McCain really stands on issues such as immigration, Bush tax plan, war on Iraq, pending war on Iran, find the truth about his infidelities, etc...

    REALLY...no McCain=a good America

    June 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. Rose

    If you want the truth about McCain, go to Vietnam Veterans Against McCain.

    I am the mother of a Navy Seabee that has already had one tour of Iraq (2 medals) and awaiting deployment to Afghanistan and I am personally sick to death of hearing about McCain's war service 30 years ago.

    June 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. Rumpusgoopus

    Uh, this isn't a "truth" issue, but rather a "spin" issue. Perhaps "Spin Squad" would be more appropriate?

    June 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. Bulldog

    Flying a plane and being shot down does not qualify anybody to do anything. I'm not sure that a major airline would even want to hire someone to be a pilot who wrecked 4 very expensive Navy aircraft. John McCon and his campaign are counting on people being scared into voting for him by claiming there will be another terrorist attack, spreading false rumors about Obama, and claiming insurgents will step up their attacks in Iraq because they don't want McCon to be the next president. All fear and smear mongering and it's very unfortunate that so many people are actually falling for it. John McCon and his Straight Con Express.

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

    Excuse me .... the General DID NOT lie about McCain.

    June 30, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. Bayou Joe

    A true Patriot does not have to give speeches on Patriotism. He demonstrates it by his or her actions. McCain has proven his Patriotism as many of us have by defending our country in times of war. The Vietnam war was lost due to Clark's inemptness and the
    Democrats running the war from Washington.

    McCain will defend our country and bring home our troops with honor.
    Including my son and his.

    June 30, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. Milly - Arizona

    Last week, the Center for American Progress Action Fund released a new report by Michael Ettlinger estimating that under McCain's tax plan, he and his wife, Cindy, would save extra $373,429. That's nearly $400,000 - per year, not over the course of their lifetimes.

    Under Barack Obama's plan, the McCains would save less than $6,000. The Obamas would save nearly $50,000 under McCain's plan, and slightly more than $6,000 under Obama's plan own plan.

    This is straight talk!!

    June 30, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. Obama 08: Female, 60, white

    So perhaps McCain's "Truth Squad" can release the full 600 pages of McCain's military records instead of the 60 that are available presently.

    It seems incredible that he can say Obama can't be trusted, and his party can question Obama's patriotism, but he whines and complains when Wesley Clark questions his claims that his military experience.

    June 30, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  25. David

    A true leader doesn't pretend to have all of the answers themselves, instead they gather the best of the best around them and have an intelligent debate in order to establish the best course of action.

    McCain is dangerous, just like Bush he thinks he personally has the answers and he has surrounded himself with the same ineffective advisors. Vote for Obama he will help bring the world together which is the only real way to improve security.

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