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. Andre of Marland

    Yeah...let's tell the truth.

    How did you leave your first wife Sen. McCain? Was she having a tough time when you walked out on her. You say you are a man of principle but walking out on your commitment to your wife and God is o.k.

    June 30, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  2. Cheryl

    Just because someone went to the police academy, does not mean they will be a good police officer.

    Just because someone went to school for education, does not mean they will be a good teacher.

    Just because someone went to Vietnam and held as a POW, does not mean they will make a good president.

    June 30, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. mike

    If getting shot down and being a POW doesn't give you the credentials to be President, does being a junior Senator who's foreign policy experience includes living abroad as a child give you the credentials?
    P.S. Dave Goldman, pick up a dikshonary.

    June 30, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. David

    The truth is Obama meets with Dr. Wright and his other “spiritual” advisors once a month and discusses how much they HATE whitey.

    June 30, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. 2012

    And this is the same Wesley Clark who in 1999 as NATO commander ordered a British unit to take military action against a "friendly" Russian force over a "turf" issue. The British general in charge responded "I will NOT start World War III for you!" and was cleared of any wrongdoing for refusing the order.

    This is Barry's most trusted military advisor.......Take a good long hard look at this guy, people. You just might find out what a "warmonger" really looks like!

    June 30, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  6. DM, Arlington TX for Barack Obama 08

    Senator McCain and Dementia?

    Please help him now let him know we care....

    June 30, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. karen-phoenix

    Sounds like McBush is copying everything Obama does!!! Trouble is most of the untruths about McBush are TRUE!!!! Warmonger!!! His whole history is that of war, war and more war. Obama just did an incrediable job on patritism in Independence MO. McCain needs to hear it!!!! Its not all about war!!!! Its about unity and service to fellow man–education, health care, jobs. Peace Corp members are one of the most patriotic people in this country!!! Sooo much more!!!! I do not want someone trained in only war!!! Go Obama!!!

    June 30, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Not fooled by distractions.

    I agree wholeheartedly with Gen. Clark. McCain has done nothing to make him more qualified for the presidency. Serving in the military doesn't make you more qualified – being a pow, more qualified? I don't think so. He's trying to make himself something that he clearly isn't. He's another C- legacy admission – just like bush.

    June 30, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. dave

    I think McCain has NO input on matters such as these. I know most pols don't bother with this kind of stuff(such as web site appearance, message, language), but he has NO creativity when it comes to these matters. He's all issue oriented, and limited issues at that. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but he has a one track mind, it seems. And, obviously, the people he has making the other decisions have NO creativity, cause they keep ripping off from Obama's message/style.

    June 30, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. Obama 08/12

    It would take more than a truth squad what a joke for a Flip Flopper and War monger .

    June 30, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Voter, Omaha NE

    These comments from Obama supporters are simply fascinating. The only argument they have to vote for Obama is that everyone else is either a liar, cheat, woman, idiot, or old man. Obama to them is a god although for the life of me I do not know why.

    I sure hope the sane people in this country wake up and vote for someone with more experience and wisdom than Obama–he is inexperienced in everything but making speeches. He sat on the sidelines on important issues by merely voting 'present'. He relies on others to be the brains behind his presidency–well we did that with the puppet in power now–no need for another puppet or the crazy ones behind him. Get someone who at least will make a decision, who has tried to be upfront and honest–you think Obama is honest? Grow up people–your god is not wearing any clothes...

    June 30, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. The Austrian

    "Beat it or I'll call the Truth Squad!"

    "I'm on the Truth Squad."

    "You ARE the Truth Squad!"

    Methinks McCain has been watching the Princess Bride recently...

    June 30, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. Michelle, PA

    I read – and watched – the entire Clark incident, in context it didn't strike me as badly as some of the commentary would have you believe. I think the General misspoke (not a shocker from him), but I have to agree with his point. Sen. McCain, like any other veteran, deserves respect and gratitude for his service, but his experience in a POW camp does not by itself make him "ready on day one" to serve as chief executive of the nation he served. I wish the media – and both campaigns – would stop trying to make petty points over word choice and focus on the real issues!

    June 30, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |

    McCain.........by the time nov gets here you are to be to tired to vote for yourself .......... all tjis name calling (lousy Carter,Obama can't be trusted,
    terrorist attacks,truth squad all this Fear Mongering ) you need to Slow down .....NOW election time is about 4 mos away ......... all that you are doing DIRTY POLITICS......HAD The Nerve to Visit REV GRAHAM.........I an shock regarding your behavior.......SLOW DOWM
    a notch!!!!1

    June 30, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. James F

    All of you that are questioning John McCains war record and patriotism are a bunch of sick puppies! It' would be comical to read your comments here except for the fact that it is horrible to see how nieve and uninformed almost all of you are. You live in a goldfish bowl in this country. If you really knew how bad things are and how bad you are being manipulated and set up for the biggest royal fleecing in history, you would be taking action and demanding the politicans protect your rights. Instead you listen to a soothsayer professing to have a magic wand to solve all your problems. It doesn't appear to me that many of you really have a clue about the real political process. There isn't going to be any change except for the worse. You are all going to pay higher taxes to support all of these promised entitlements. Terrorist attacks will probably start in this country. There is really nothing to stop them except the myths and magic of security that doesn't exist. Politics is going to get a lot more nasty as everybody fights for what few dollars are going to be available. The United Satates will be seen as very weak if another "talker gets into office". Some of you are comparing Obama to JFK. I agree, he was sadly out of touch and almost got us vaporized over Cuba. Ths country is drugged on charm and popularity and woefully uninformed and mislead. Any real change in this country is going to take years. Gangs roam the streets, people actually starve to death in America. We turn our noses up to the senior citizens and the political process is bought and sold. Enjoy $7.00 gas and higher taxes. That's what democrats do, tax and spend.

    June 30, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. Teddy California

    Clark was wrong. According to his logics, no one except generals is qualified to be the commander-in-chief. Actually most generals have never even commading a war time squad and they are not qualified either. Of course, in Clark's logics, Obama is even less qualified. Democrats should nominate him to be the commander-in-chief.

    I think the election should focus on who has better vision for the country. That should be the top priority. Secondly, who has better policy proposals, foreign and defense, economic and other demostic issues. As for the candidate himself, he should be a better decision maker, a better leader. Neither of them has been leading a large organization. It is hard to know who will be a better decision maker, a better leader.

    Why did Americans like to elect governors, instead of Senates to Presidents? There is a reason for that. A lot of people are very good at giving speeches and debating. That is what Senates did. They do not have to make hard decisions.

    June 30, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  17. charles

    Release your records to the public and let them see for themselves. we dont need truth squad just records will settle all the rumours. l mean those missing pages +-600 we are after you know what l mean. l hope you do . Until you do that you will cry till November.

    June 30, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. Bobby

    Obama IS for hope and change.

    He hopes that people will not notice his constant changes in his pledges, his stances and his promises. That is the sad thing about Obama.

    He has the gift of inspiring millions to take an interest in politics and issues. But his current conduct shows him to be nothing more than a snake oil salesman. That is what is so sad. To squander such a gift.

    He is ignorant on many issues and his inexperience is glaring. He states that his lack of experience does not matter as he exhibits great judgement. Even on that, his track record is dismal. Look at the pastor incident. That speaks volumes of the man. What about his voting record in the Senate? Voting "pressent" hundreds of times because he wanted to be on both sides of the same issue.

    June 30, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. James, SC

    kelly WI

    Maybe you should look at Clark's record. He didn't crash three fighters planes; and he was a true leader in the military!

    June 30, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. ang

    Shame on all the people that have posted disgusting accusations about a war hero.

    At least MCCain had the guts to fight for his country.

    The only guts Obama has is to give an empty speech.

    Enough said. Shame on the democrats for allowing this weak imposter to have the nomination.

    The democrats just gave the white house back to the republicans by their stupidity in backing Obama the racist phoney.

    I will take my chances on the war hero-not the racist (Obama)

    whats wrong with all of you!!!

    June 30, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. Montana is Obama Country

    John McC "You can't handle the truth"...


    Jack Nicholson

    June 30, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    I loved it when McCain chastized Obama a couple months ago for not ever wearing a uniform claiming that Obama "chose not to put on a uniform to serve his country."


    So McCain thinks the only way to serve your country is to be in the military?

    And besides, Obama was still a kid when the Vietnam draft occured-so I guess McCain can't use that argument of dodging a draft!


    McCain had egg on his face.

    June 30, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. Terry

    TRUTH???????????? Oh please I am laughing so hard I can't see straight, for a moment John McCain lookedl like Goerge Bush.

    June 30, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  24. Darren Davis

    Funny how the 'Truth Squad' will most likely fail to address the nebulous claims pouring from it's taskmaster.

    June 30, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  25. Gary

    The McCain camp is upset because Gen. Clark has called them out "fear" campaign. John McCain is a war hero. No one is questioning that about John McCain. But how does being a war hero make John McCain any more ready to lead the country in making diplomatic and military decisions than Barack Obama? Gen. Clark is right!

    June 30, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11