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. Sen.John McCain't!

    LOL..sorta like the fightthesmear.com huh?...paleeze...is it just me or does he treads dangerously in waters that he really SHOULDNT want to tread?

    June 30, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    I shouldn't type and talk at the same time.

    didn't find anything offensive in Clark's comments. I have asked myself the same thing, "How does being a fighter pilot shot down in Vietnam make you an 'expert' on foreign policy?"

    They had wanted to release McCain because he was the son of Admiral, but J-Mac wanted to stay locked up with his fellows. Lot's of publicity for the time. J-Mac showed a lot of grit, courage and determination.

    I wonder what "truths" Camp McCain intend to promote to dispute Clark's opinion. Clark made no accusations, or presented any distorted facts. He simply asked a very valid question about how J-Mac's life experience will benefit him or hinder him as President.

    June 30, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    McCain's Vietnam record makes him a hero and a survivor but not a leader! Why is McCain the only Vietnam Vet in Congress who supports the war in Iraq?

    Strange to find the words Republican and truth in the same sentence: I would like to remind people that this same Republican party whispered loudly that they doubted McCain was stable enough after his term as a POW to run the country just a few years ago!

    What is the truth or does it matter when running for election?

    June 30, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Jody Monroe

    What's wrong with TRUTH? The truth is that being a POW for 5 years does NOT give anyone automatic military experience!

    In fact, I don't know of ANY military leadership experience McCain has at all. If he does have leadership experience in the military, that's what he should highlight. No one is aware of any of his military leadership experience.

    June 30, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  5. Casey in CA.

    Here's some truth for you: McCain = Bush's Third Term

    come'on, folks, say it with me: no BUSH third term... no Bush third term... no Bush third term

    The Republicans wouldn't know the truth if it bit them on their flag pins.

    nobushthirdterm dot com

    June 30, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. Joseph Adewole

    The General was 100% correct; one wonders what really qualify John McCain to the position he wants or is he using his father's credential? John has not commanded a Platoon before neither was he ever closer to been a Company Commander...what was his rank when he was in The Airforce.
    I doubt if John really understand what he has been claiming; he got shot down in Vietnam, that was fine and l respect him for that as l always do for every service personnel including myself but what has that type of qualification got to do with the Oval Office?
    Better send this guy back to school.

    June 30, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. FEAR NO ONE!!!

    Bob Indianapolis, IN ........."Truth Squad?" You mean SWIFT BOAT, don't you? BOB you head nail on the head !!!! FEAR Mongers

    June 30, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  8. LATINO FOR OBAMA

    MCSame, YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH.

    Release your service records then.

    June 30, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. Hillary Supporter for Obama

    Clark didn't say anything about McCains patriotism. He even called McCain a hero. Did you get that??? A HERO. So why is the McCain camp complaining?

    Of course Clark is right. Getting shot down in an airplane doesn't qualify you to be President.

    June 30, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. keesa

    Im so tired of the REPUBLICANS with there scare tactics.It makes me think that they have something to do with TERRIOST ATTACKING AMERICA.and I still think because John MCcain was a POW It doesnt means he is ready to be COMMANDER IN CHIEF.

    June 30, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. McSameMcCain on myspace

    We KNOW his time in the Navy proves he isn't ready to be a pilot!

    June 30, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Fella from Chicago

    Sad day when Senator McCain has to defend his six years of imprisonment to a segment of the American public. Now that Senator Clinton is out of the picture the Obama supporters can now turn their hate toward the good Senator from Arizona. Unbelievable! Lastly, Mary and Nia; there's no "r'" in squad.

    June 30, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. Tina

    John McCain served this country. Obama???? just talk!

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

    Alf is a better pilot

    June 30, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. Cory, San Diego, CA

    I find it absolutely disgusting that Obama would put Clark out there to attack McCain's service to our nation. The Left is clearly out of their minds!

    June 30, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. The Blind Lady of Justice

    Four-(4)-Star Army General Wesley Clark got the facts right.

    McCain has no military experience that is particularly relevant to being president.

    John McCain went into the Navy because he came from a family where that was a tradition. Both his grandfather and his father did it.. Imagine the family pressure that influenced him. As a 22 year old in 1959, when General Dwight Eisenhower was then President and John Kennedy, with “war-hero” credentials was running for, and would go on to win the Presidency in 1960, image the peer pressure McCain was under to join. I’m not so sure John should score enormous nobility points under these circumstances. Only he and others of his era honestly know the motivations.

    It is reasonable to say that McCain’s 40- year old POW experience serves as a partial inspiration to other SOLDIERS. Even that though does not translate into all soldier's supporting McCain.

    No truely informed, thinking American believes that John McCain would be a better President than Obama because he was held in Vietnam.

    Independent voters, let’s not inflate John McCain’s resume under false pretenses.

    June 30, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. TYony from Torrignton

    How amazing is it that you libs attack John McCain for having people who want to get to the truth, but it's OK for Obama to have a group that will do the same thing? It's typical liberal bull.

    June 30, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    John McCain had better turn his "truth squad" on himself and his campaign. All this crap about Obama will raise taxes on every American is absolute bull! Maybe the "truth squad" will expose McCain for what he REALLY is: Another Bush fearmongerer and tax-cutter for the rich! OBAMA '08 AND '12!

    June 30, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. MurphyMorseJohnson

    Truth or not, McCain is no General Eisenhower or General Powell. Then again, neither are Bush, Cheney, or Rumsfeld–the geniuses who got us into a world-wise mess! Since McCain was a captive, not a captor, perhaps we should be looking to his captor's military brilliance.

    June 30, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. Dan, Mpls, MN

    The Truth Squad will work side by side with the Fear Mongering Squad.

    June 30, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. David

    This is what Kerry should have done to counter the Rovian technique of attacking a challenger's greatest strength. All McCain has is his military prestige. If Dem's neutralize that, he's got nothing.

    June 30, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  22. Christian Vreeland, Traverse City Mi

    John McCain's miliatary record.... shot down.... spent some time in a prison....
    for the record I don't know of many POW's allowed to keep a photo album of their endeavor....
    I got hit by a cafr and spent some time in a hospital, can I be a senator?

    June 30, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. Pat M

    I'm also tired of McCain using his Military Service as a Credential for the Presidency. There are many military contributing to our safety and freedom as we speak. McCain was one of the many and will always be, no better, no worse. If he is so proud of his service and it's such a peg in his credentials for the Presidency than post your record here and in the major newspapers so we can all read it! If not, shut up and get on to the real story like the issues and how your going to handle them just like your twin Bush.

    June 30, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  24. Ginger

    All you Obama supporters – AOL straw poll has McCain leading Obama 62% – 38%. These voters are unsolicited by trained pollsters. The entire map of US is red.

    June 30, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  25. D.Johnson

    Mccain truth square is a gimmick. McCain should release it naval records to show that he actually was hero. The only truth is to release his records from the naval which will stop those who question his records.

    June 30, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
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