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. Barack Obama is Our 44th president! YES WE CAN !

    Gen. Wes Clark is 100% CORRECT – McCain's service in Vietnam DOES NOT mean that he is qualified to serve as commander-in-chief.
    Yes he is to be commended / respected for his service to thsi country, but he is now running for the highest office, and that definitely requires MUCH more and McCain and everyone else has to already know this.

    Additionally, he does not have the leadership skills nor vision to move America forward in the 21st Century. It's been proven that 95 % of his policies are exactly like Bush, and we all know he has the lowest approval rating ever – 26%. So this speaks volumes to McCain's credentials and it definitely makes ALL thinking/intelligent Americans question his creditability and trustworthiness to be president of the USA.

    McCain is NOT qualified to effect REAL change in Washington. He lacks in so many crucial areas. His mindset, heart and spirit are too tied with the old failed policies of the past.

    It's time for REAL change in Washington, it's time to elect Barack Obama for president.

    June 30, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. Carolyn

    John McCain will not become President even with the socalled Demo who were Hillary support who wants to vote him. This man is too OLD! only the racist people will vote for him. We need a change. John McCain doesn't represent change look at his AGED he's old. He has those same old ideal as Bush! Have you crazy McCain supporters been looking at the economy lately. Or are you old and senile like McCain

    OBAMA 08.

    June 30, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. Justice League

    McCain is wasting his money forming a "truth squad" because all that will come out of there are lies. Wesley Clark told the truth. Just because you served in a war, doesn't qualify you to be president. McCain may not like how that sounds, but it's the truth, and the truth hurts. Bob Dole served in WWII, but that didn't make him a good candidate for President.

    June 30, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. Alice

    Clark is right.

    June 30, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Republican for OBAMA!

    Great! You can call it "Obama for president 08"...no that wont work. Best not to change anything and stay the same, call in "liars unite for McSame 08"

    June 30, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. ynot4tony2

    Yes, it would seem all liberals are flip-flopping idiots.

    Bush41 vs Clinton: military experience doesn't matter!

    Dole vs Clinton: military experience doesn't matter!

    Bush43 vs Gore: military experience matters (even if you're just a military journalist like Gore)!

    Bush43 vs Kerry: military experience is EVERYTHING!

    McCain vs Obama: military experience is a liability!

    Face it...Democrats despise the military until it can somehow benefit them politically.

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

    Remember John McCain was a POW he got caught

    June 30, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. Paul

    What on earth are you morons talking about? Every time Obama does something that calls questions toward his views, something he said, his promises for "new" "change" "hope" politics, the answer is: "....well McCain..." Every answer to a question about Obama is not "...well than McCain..."
    This kind of politics is why Obama has been attractive to my wife and I who have never voted for a Democrat...the bloom is off the rose. I was expecting something better, if I wanted a moderate I'd vote for McCain. I guess I will now...

    June 30, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Why does the name "Truth Squad" bring to my mind an image of death squad lined up with rifles taking aim at a target?

    June 30, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. East Coast Bum

    The repugs have no one to blame but themselves. Worst group of people I have ever met. You are a party of old ways and mostly old RICH people. I am sick of it and the political stagnation in DC. Obama is my vote to say I have had with the way politicans act. I respect Mcwar, just won't give that party the time of day EVER AGAIN, that I can promise.

    June 30, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  11. Tom Soppe, Portland, OR

    Flip flopper Bush hack McCain's "Truth Squad"

    Irony is lost on some people

    June 30, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. Tim

    Without getting carried away with vindictive hyperbole, I don't think General Clark was maligning Senator McCain's service to his country, I believe everyone honors his sacrifice and heroic achievements in the militatry – including General Clark who has so stated. I believe the point is that serving as a Lt.Cmdr in the Navy during the Vietnam War, and being held as a POW, does not have any bearing in qualifying one for Presidency of the U.S.

    June 30, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. mike

    If McCain doesn't have the credentials, what ARE Obama's?

    June 30, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    I am starting to realize that McCain is running to be Commander-In-Chief, while Obama is running to be President. Hmmmmm

    June 30, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. Helga, St. Louis, MO

    What scares me about McCain is that he obviously did not learn from the war in Viet Nam, and now is supporting the same kind of war and really thinks that qualifies him somehow to run this country.... Insanity is repeating the same behavior and expecting different results......which is apparently what he intends to do.

    June 30, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. T GUY


    June 30, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Obama's web site is about Obama, not his opponent. Obama started his site first.

    McCain has started a web site with a similar stated purpose. I wonder if the information will restrict itself to John McCain, not his opponent.

    June 30, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. Mike

    At least he served......for Barack's early years he sat in a church that had a pastor that degraded this country......

    Yeah it's pretty clear who is more qualified to be president..

    Change indeed....

    June 30, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    I have nothing in common with Mitt Romney. He is a billionare who looks like he spends all his time in a spa getting a sun tan. He is a bored billionare whose new "hobby" would be vice president .

    June 30, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. T GUY


    June 30, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  21. djino,charlotte,nc

    the truth is gen WESLEY CLARK is right to have your air plane shot down doesn't give the commander in chief experience his has been DC for decades and he never change nothing that's what barack was saying "THE SAME OLD PLAYERS PLAYING THE SAME GAM� AND EXPECT DIFFERENT RESULT.that new result will never happen can someone tell Mc warmonger that time is gone

    June 30, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. Debby

    I am disappointed in Wesley Clark for saying this since McCain was a POW for 5 years and coming from a General this is such a tacky comment.

    June 30, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. The Surly Scholar

    "Truth Squad?" How wonderfully overaggressive, vaguely Orwellian, and typically republican.

    Sounds like a bunch of armed commandos who go to your house and beat you until you believe what John McCain wants you to believe.

    June 30, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  24. TyWebb

    "Thanks for the Truth Squad, you little jerk."

    June 30, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. Cynthia

    It looks like Senator McCain likes to follow the leader. I don't think anyone is questioning whether he served honorably in the U.S. military. I think what they are saying is just because you served in the military doesn't make you an expert. For those of you asking where was Senator Obama – remember they were drafting when Senator McCain went in (whether he went voluntarily or not) but by the time Senator Obama was of age it was voluntary as it is now.

    June 30, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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