June 30th, 2008
04:50 PM ET

Patriotism and the price of gas: What matters to you?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/06/29/clark.mccain/art.clark.gi.jpg caption="Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who ran for president in 2004 questioned John McCain's qualifications Sunday."]
Barclay Palmer
AC360° Senior Producer

The McCain camp fired back after retired Gen. Wesley Clark said on Sunday that he doesn't think John McCain's service as pilot or prisoner of war is relevant to being president, saying McCain is “untested and untried” because he hasn’t “held executive responsibility.”

McCain and his campaign blamed Barack Obama, saying he hasn’t stopped surrogate attacks. “If that's the kind of campaign that senator Obama and his surrogates and his supporters want to engage in I understand that. But it doesn’t reduce the price of a gallon of gas by one penny,” McCain said. His campaign launched a "Truth Squad" of his Vietnam contemporaries, including Bud Day of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group that attacked John Kerry's candidacy, to counter attacks on McCain's military record.

Clark isn't the only high-profile Dem supporter to question McCain's military record. Howard Dean called McCain an "opportunist" in March, when McCain launched a tour introducing himself to Americans and featuring his POW experience. And Sen. Jay Rockefeller has criticized McCain for dropping bombs over Vietnam, killing innocent people.

Nevertheless, Obama disavowed Clark’s comment today, saying, “For those like John McCain who have endured physical torment in service to our country… we must always express our profound gratitude.”He made the comment during a speech about his own patriotism, and promised he “will never question the patriotism of others in this campaign” – an implicit challenge to McCain to promise the same.

Also on Sunday, John Aravosis, on the liberal Americablog.com, asked “what did McCain do to excel in the military” and accused him of "disloyalty" for participating in a propaganda film after being tortured in Vietnam. “Getting shot down, tortured, and then doing propaganda for the enemy is not command experience,” Aravosis wrote.

As Politico.com reports today, Alexander Cockburn in April took a similar tack , excoriating the press for failing to ask about McCain’s “collaborating with his Vietnamese captors.”

Do you think a gun was pointed at McCain during the filming?

So many questions arise, including this: Is McCain’s experience as POW relevant to his candidacy for office – or not? If so, should we examine it? If not, should it continue to be a selling point?

Do any of these issues really matter, or are they just being used as weapons in the political war… And is this just a variation on the lapel pin war, the Swift Boat war, and all the other political wars fought at a distance from the issues that personally affect Americans… such as what’s going to reduce the price of a gallon of gas by one penny?

Filed under: Barclay Palmer • John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Job Nettoh, Kenya, Africa

    I think it is high time Mcain & the Mcain compain out grew pettiness and started talking on isues like gas prices, the economy, security, foreigh policy and many more.
    They should also shurnthe terrorist threats they have been advancing of late and instead actually tell the American people how they are planning to make America a secure place.
    "how prepared he actually is to be presiden from Day one"

    July 1, 2008 at 12:19 am |
  2. Henry E. Lowe

    Reading some of the comments on this blog it's easy to see why America is on the verge of economic collapse, hated around the world, and MAY have to settle the question of who won the Civil War once and for all. John McCain has been getting away with murder for years because the MEDIA has created his maverick, war hero persona. John McCain is a war criminal, having murdered innocent Vietnamese men, women and children who (like the Iraqis of today) were no threat to him; he is a thief who was Charles Keatings' business partner during the S&L ripoff, and even today has Phil Gram (the architect of deregulation that has made the subprime mortgage rip off and Enron possible) as his (McCain's) chief economic adviser. Yet the media (and many of the intellectually challenged posters on this blog) allow McCain to get away with flip-flopping on everything from McCain-Feingold and McCain-Kennedy Immigration reform to today's passage of the new GI Bill. John McCain gave several press barbecues at his Arizona home this past spring, and he's the darling of the media as well as the hypocritical right wingers on this blog. Where's McCain's accountability America?

    June 30, 2008 at 11:42 pm |
  3. SR

    Wesley Clark was absolutely correct concerning John McCain’s war record. That was then this is now. Obama is running on his experience but McCain is chasing out and maximizing on something that does not qualify him for the job.

    June 30, 2008 at 11:41 pm |
  4. Cris

    What is special about McCains service record/POW status?

    As a POW he was expected and did his job in complying with the a document called the "Code of Conduct". I don't believe soleley being a POW entitles one to hero status. Nor does it qualify one to be president.

    Additionally, as a POW, I would think he would oppose torture "waterboarding". So much for the ideals he as a leader should stand for.

    I retired in 05 after 25 years of military service. I'm a republican, white, and voting for Sen. Obama.

    The conservative, neo con talking heads (McCain included) sure don't represent me and I presume many others like me.

    June 30, 2008 at 11:32 pm |
  5. Daniel Roberts

    After two days of hearing the republican whining about the comments concerning the eligibility of the republican candidate on the tail of comments in the Bob Schaefer interview, I must say that I would think the republican senator would by much more qualified to be the leader of the free world if he were somehow clever enough to not get shot down at all!

    June 30, 2008 at 11:14 pm |
  6. Marie NV

    If Barack Obama “honors and respects” McCain’s service, then he needs to apoligize to Sen. John McCain for Clark’s nasty comments of the POW. I am a democrate and I was offended by that. If Sen. John McCain is not fit to be presedent then Mr. Barack Obama’s lack of any kind of record is not fit to be dog catcher!!!!!!

    June 30, 2008 at 11:13 pm |
  7. corey k

    Someone in the Obama campaign should go ahead and listen to James Carville. Nothing Clark said was off base or offensive, it was simply the truth. If anything, we should be voting in Clark for president.

    Corey K

    Los Angeles, CA

    June 30, 2008 at 11:11 pm |
  8. Joel, Pennsylvania

    Did General Clark cross a line? What line? It seems there are no lines when it comes to campaigning for office. That said, it is right to question the qualifications of our candidates. General Clark doesn't owe Senator McCain an apology. He's entitled to his oppinion. Senator McCain should be proud of his service but being in the military doesn't automatically qualify him to make the decisions that face our nation. If it did we wouldn't elect a President the highest general would be made the chief executive.

    June 30, 2008 at 11:09 pm |
  9. Kevin

    If we're in the jungles of southeast Asia, I want McCain's experience as a war vet – but we're not. I have great respect for Senator McCain but his war experience means nothing to me with respect to issues of health care, the U.S. and world economy and financial markets (which he already admits to knowing next to nothing about).
    We need vision along with leadership and we're not going to get it with Senator McCain. We have a chance now to make great strides forward or to fall back a generation behind the rest of the world. We should be ashamed as a nation at how we have failed to take a leadership role in promoting alternative energy technologies and have failed to maintain and improve our aging, antequated infrastructure systems.

    June 30, 2008 at 11:06 pm |
  10. James Dylan

    Oh this talk of patriotism. McCain comes from a family with long a history of military service and not only did he serve, but has two sons serving in Iraq. Understandably he nor the media talk about this. Just notice the English prince's attempt at service. This is a man that truly understands patriotism. Is it not the greatest gift one can give to their country to kill and/or die for its safety? His very life. He is not a Senator of the Vietnam era, keeping his children out of it. You can say he has a great deal more invested in the protection of this nation than is given credit for. One would have to go back decades to find any allegations of poor patriotism and that can be attributed to physical and mental torture.
    Today Obama comes out in an attempt to stop the allegations of his perceived poor patriotism and admits some of it comes from his own "carelessness" in the past 16 months. Is this who people want to represent out nation and speak to foreign leaders? A man that has a careless understanding of how important perception is when standing on a world stage? Especially if it is a perception that many of his own nation question? It may not matter if John or Jane Doe appear unpatriotic, but for a president it is ESSENTIAL. Weakness must not be perceived. The first rule of all leading and negotiating. So the question continues; what part was he careless about?

    June 30, 2008 at 11:00 pm |
  11. Kat

    And Bush served in the military, need I say more?

    June 30, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  12. Kat

    This whole subject is not worth commenting on. If those in the media didnt keep it going all day, it wouldnt matter.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  13. Lenora

    I think this is making a mountain out of a mole hill. I totally agree with James Carvile (and Wesley Clark for that matter). I'm disappointed that Obama apologized thus giving credit to this ridiculous spin on a legitimate statement.

    I don't think the indignant tone is helpful to getting to the truth.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  14. Annette of Aurora Colorado

    Well, it is about time that some attention be given to John McCain and who he really is. I think it is fair to raise questions about his war record. My husband and other Vietnam Vets say that he gave up information that caused more of our planes to be shot down and more of our soldiers to die. The media has this love affair with McCain that allows McCain to manipulate what isand isn't reported. Like saying very little about his foul relationship with his first wife after she was injured; no real scrutiny of his adulterous affair with Cindy or of Cindy's drug addiction and theft of drugs from her own non-profit; what was his real involvment in the Keating Five; and so on. We don't need another George Bush in office to finish driving this Country in the ground.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  15. Ron

    Marian nailed it and there is no reason for Obama, Clark or anyone else to apologize. Noone questioned McCain's patriotism. It was simply stated that being a bomber pilot didn't qualify him to be president. Nor does it disqualify him.

    Would someone inform Candy Crowley that it is not standard to put you hand on your heart when the National Anthem is playing. That was a cheap shot that she showed it again on Anderson Cooper and did not explain this. Hand on the heart is for the pledge. Candy should know this. She is old enough to know. Does she pay attention? It was started by a few people who feel they have to wear their patriotism on their sleve and the flag on their lapel. We see the flag everywhere more often than not displayed improperly. I remember during Vietnam it was unpatriotic to wear it everywhere.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  16. Stacey

    Bottom line, I would rather have a President with plenty of military experience to protect this country ("heroic" or not) than to have a President who won't even wear this country's flag pin.

    Sarasota, FL

    June 30, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  17. Frederick Lawler

    In reference to Gen. Clark's comments and also your TV reports. Sen. McCain should be called an Attack Pilot not a Fighter Pilot. (Different kind of cat). It should also be noted that contrary to the statement that McCain probably fired a missle from 36,000 feet and was miles away when it hit a check will show that at the time of McCains shootdown the attacks were being made with "iron bombs" and the dive bombing runs were started at about 12,000 feet with pullouts below 5000. This info is provided by a former Attack Pilot in the interest of truth and accuracy.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  18. Greta

    General Clark was right–it's what I've been saying for weeks! It wasn't snide and it wasn't saying anything against McCain's military record or patriotism. It's simply a fact that being a fighter pilot or POW doesn't mean you should be president., or we'd have a lot more candidates! James C. said it eloquently. Much Ado About Nothing, but guess that's politics.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  19. Heather

    Can we stop featuring stupid comments and get back to the real issues? Try shining a light on who Obama really is, what's his real agenda and what in the world qualifies him to lead this country? Not much

    June 30, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  20. gar

    Plain and simple General Clark was off base. He looks small and petty.As for Obama his surrogates are continually making him play catchup. The American people regardless of their politics will not think highly of criticising one who spent six years out his life for his country.This has nothing to do if he is qualified to be President. It is time Obama tightend the reins . His apologies after the fact are starting to get phony.Preachers, flag pin on lapel, Many Americans were raised in poor circumstances time he give up that line of attack..
    Loyalty that will be the voters judgement not the candidates

    June 30, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  21. Bonnie

    I am an educator. I work hard to support teachers and encourage them to inform students about relevant issues in today's world. It is so discouraging to sit down to the evening news and hear what is equivalent to a tabloid discussion on who said what on the campaign trail. CNN is no different than FOX...I am sorry but I may need to return to PBS News. When the PBS broadcast is aired, it has content and is discussing issues. Rove on FOX...unbelievable that he was hired as a political commentator rather than fabricator! CNN indulges in the same bunk! Let's not engage in such petty politics. We have many important subjects to be discussing!
    I am so disappointed as to where we choose to put our attention!

    June 30, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  22. Heather

    Wake up America. You are being lulled into a lie.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  23. Morrison Gray

    Look I will tell you this, as an American voter, I can't stand to hear the candidates say, "This is not what the American people care about". Look, when I heard Gen. Clark's comments about McCain, I didn't look at it as anything but the truth. I spent 8 years in the military, does that make me qualified to run this country? Of course not, there has to be more, and that was what Gen. Clark spoke about...Nothing more. However, of course the McCain camp will jump at any chance to cry and embellish...Look out O'Reilly you may have some competition in the spin category.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  24. Lornie Odom-Aurora, CO

    John McCain has brought this upon himself. He keeps on saying that he was a P.O.W. this become fair politic games. John McCain wants his cake and eat it too. GROW UP! If you want to be the man, then play the GAME.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  25. Heather

    Do we really have nothing better to do than to make a story out of this? This is so way off the point. We have families out of work, out of thier homes, young men and women dying in the middle east over a dust bowl with no end in sight and a possible inexperienced man running for the most important position of leadership in our nation. Wake up America, think, and to the media, stop dumbing it down for 20 second sound bites, you sound worse than the politicians.

    It's time to get serious and stop the sensationalism of the liberal media. Do we really know what Obama's hidden agenda is? Do you really think he did not know what his pastor was all about after 20 years? Where is his judgement? Where is his international experience, his experience to deal outside of Chicago? What has he really done to lead ALL of America? Or does he have a hidden agenda to just tax the wealthy and give to the poor. The wealthy, by the way, that pay more taxes than the other guy, that create the companies from their sweat and financial risk to EMPLOY those people that still want more. Where is the media and where is this sense of entitlement coming from. We all work hard every day and create our world. Obama might have done some great things, but the media needs to look at who will be ready with real life experience outside his own backyard to call the shots in times of true hardship and threats.

    How about spending time on that?

    June 30, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  26. Rob Jackson

    I am alays amazed by our ability to let a story spiral out of control witout being constrained by facts. People are debating Gen. Clark's comments as if he questioned McCain's war record but I can't see any quote where he does that. He said being a fighter pilot and POW does not qualify you for President. Guess what it doesn't. There may be many reasons to vote for McCain but the fact that he was a POW is not one of them. Whether you are a democrat or republican let's at least stick to the facts and try no to distort what people say.

    June 30, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  27. Ricky

    All of this attacks on "patriotism " is the only thing the Repblicans got...SAME old negative politics...and thats why Republican wont win...over 75% of the Senators have not servied in the armed forces and I dont care about a flag pin...stop reaching to the weak mined and the people you can persuade with fear...

    June 30, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  28. Sheryl Ryan

    This is such a non-issue. Someone make the argument that his service DOES qualify him to be president. I happen to agree with Clark and I'm an independent, not a democrat.

    Cam we talk about something important?

    June 30, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  29. Bryan

    General Clark's statements are true. Not every veteran's military service rises to the level of a distinction of a Purple Heart, nor makes him/her superior in judgment to that of a civilian's abililties to succeed in any field especially when that occupation is President of the United States. Neo-cons hate it when Liberals have the balls to use their own game plans against them !!! That's like saying an Army nurse has better judgment than a inner-city trauma center nurse! I'll take E.R. over M.A S.H. anyday.

    June 30, 2008 at 9:59 pm |
  30. Annie Kate


    I don't see how anyone can say McCain was not forced to do the propaganda thing voluntarily – he was being tortured. I wonder how many of us would have held out for as long as he did. I know I couldn't so I'm not going to criticize McCain on his military record – I'm just going to look at his stand on the issues.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    June 30, 2008 at 9:45 pm |
  31. Sheron-OH

    I say I want the person that captured McCain if crediitials or qualification to be President is what McCain is saying he has more experience. It is being said well why is this even being discuss–McCain keeps bringing up his service record as credential to keep our country safe and now someone has Clark has questioned that and now the News is saying Clark is wrong. The truth hurts. McCain creditials can not be held to him being a prisoner he was not a commander or Colonel.
    Is it politics or the NEWS causing more debates on issues that the people want to hear. The News media keeps up the talks of this type of issues. The News did it when BUSH became our scare tactic President, the NEWS knew about BUSH and yet–the fear tactics was played so that no one would know the truth of BUSH.
    Now we again our pushing aside the idea of McCain repeatly being praised as a war hero and giving him a PASS on the issue of being a person who made decisions and accepted decisions of other persons lives, instead we PASS and just make him a HERO. My nephew was a HERO, my brother was a HERO during that same war one lost his life the other lost his dignity and I dont hear them continually saying that this makes them qualified to be President.

    June 30, 2008 at 9:44 pm |
  32. Marian

    Wesley Clark was absolutely correct concerning John McCain's war record. As heroic as he seems to be, this does not automatically qualify him to be President. A good President does not need to be handled with kid gloves as McCain seems to expect.

    June 30, 2008 at 9:40 pm |
  33. Loretta from California

    Oh, I'm sorry Anderson. To answer your question-It's the issues that are facing the average American families today that are important. Yes that would include gas prices, food cost, and the struggle to keep our homes, educate our children.......the list goes on and on.

    Democrats Unite!!!!

    June 30, 2008 at 9:37 pm |
  34. Terry - Ontario, Canada

    I sure as heck can't figure out why everyone is so surprised that these
    small, petty issues keep being the news.

    This is the type of politics you have accepted and what politicans
    think you want.
    Besides, these lies, untruths and irrelavant issues do seem to sway a
    lot of people......Bush 2 is a good example of that.

    Admit it, the American electorate, is NOT the sharpest in the world.

    You cannot handle the truth, that is why you will never hear it from your politicans.........I refer you to Bush 2, again.

    You have the Gov't you deserve !!

    June 30, 2008 at 9:31 pm |
  35. Sandra

    While we honor Sen. McCain's service to America and respect the sheer Hell he went through during Vietnam, a time that most of us now know only from parents, relatives and news shows; we do have to ask one question, however unpopular.

    Given the number of veterans that came out of that war with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome or other stress related problems; given the sheer terror he endured so bravely month after month after month; given the physical damage that still haunts him. How can he claim that this makes him 'more fit' to be president? Less fit-Definitely not! But not more.

    Sen. Obama may not have ever experienced these dangers or trials. But each of us its our own path of learning and one cannot claim he has had an easy one.

    June 30, 2008 at 9:30 pm |
  36. seah5

    Obama thinks if he can keep telling people he is patriotic they will believe him. it does not work that way, and he has no clue. Since he is playing over kill on it, shows he needs time to search himself and find out what patriotism is. it is more than talking about it. It is more than hot dogs and apple pies.

    The start of his campaign he came right out condemning His President, his country, Blaming them for everything wrong in peoples life, the country and the world and kept it going his whole campaign, leading people to be against their President and leaders and government. That is extremely Unpatriotic.

    Obama divided the country and the democratic party, keeps the democratic party divided moving half to Chicago.

    McCain's military training and schooling and years of service, Is good experience. He knows what the military is, How military minds think. What is needed in war and peace. His POW experience gave him first hand experience of how enemies think and operate.

    June 30, 2008 at 9:29 pm |
  37. Loretta from California

    Does this mean that because I'm a Democrat I have to keep any negative opinions of Senator McCain to myself? Is he so weak that he (unlike Michelle Obama) cannot take a little criticism? If so he shouldn't be our President.

    Is General Clark on Senator Obama's payroll? Does Senator Obama control General Clark?

    The Republicans are dishing dirt everyday. Today it was Senator Obama's opinion on Roe v Wade. Before that it was Senator Obama is a liar. They have done an excellent job of vilifying Michelle Obama. If they can dish it, they should be able to take it.

    My Lord, this man needs to toughen up a little.

    June 30, 2008 at 9:25 pm |
  38. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    As dirty as this election has become I thought at least the military had a code of ethics that they would not break, but General Wesley Clark proved me wrong. Is he trying to say that John McCain’s service does not qualify him to be president, yet Obama’s complete lack of experience in this area does? Who is stupid enough to believe that for even a moment?

    This is becoming a disturbing pattern with Obama. Not only has he been forced to make excuses for the words of his wife, Samantha Powers, Reverend Wright, Father Pfleger, and others, he has even had to make excuses for his own reckless remarks. How many more times will voters be willing to look the other way while he makes continuous excuses for himself and his supporters?

    If Obama cannot control the people who are supporting and working for him now, how can the American people believe that he will be able to control those around him if he becomes president?

    It is more than obvious that the Obama campaign has carefully orchestrated these “incidents” in order to get out what they want to say without Obama taking the blame. This just gave him an excuse to make another one of his overblown speeches. How many more are the voters willing to listen to before they realize that they have been had by this pretender?

    As I suspected, “change” is just a word. This is nothing more than politics as usual.

    Jo Ann
    North Royalton, Ohio

    June 30, 2008 at 8:31 pm |
  39. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Why can't Obama stick up for a General who spoke the truth.
    Isn't anybody allowed to know McCain was bottom 5 in his class, crashed 3 planes before even seeing active duty. Widely believed by his peers to graduated, made flight school, and get promoted to Captain because he was born into an Elite military family.
    A true, Obama. would be asking 'where is the beef?' in McCain's military and Senate careers!?
    McCain's recent comments on Russia and China in regards to the G8 are dangerous ideas for America and the World.
    In McCain's own words, in his own book, he gave up information for medical treatment after 4 days of captivity. Who wouldn't have? The answer to that is simple; a 'true' hero!

    June 30, 2008 at 7:44 pm |
  40. Tracey - Boston

    I agree with Jenn.

    There is no question he was a war hero and deserves all the respect of that position that was put upon him.

    The question that should be asked is whether they has had any leadership experience and to what degree and length.

    Our country is spiraling out of control. I want to know what is going to be done about the food shortages (the midwest and the rest of the world see un.org/news), alternative energy sources We need to get our act together for our sakes and our children's.

    June 30, 2008 at 7:29 pm |
  41. JC- Los Angeles

    As an undecided independent, I've often wondered why, after eight troubling years, we are left to chose between McCain and Obama. One couldn't win in his prime and the other has no military background, no foreign policy background, questionable associates and modest experience. Los Angeles is home to over 140 different nationalities with many people dividing their patriotism between their ancestral homelands and their adoptive homes. It would be refreshing to see a candidate wholly embrace the America of 2008 rather than cater to trite party affiliations; if such a candidate exists, I'm confident he or she will do something about the gas.

    June 30, 2008 at 7:15 pm |
  42. Nisha from Edison, NJ

    I don't support Senator McCain, but I do respect what he's done for this country.

    At the same time, I don't believe that being a Prisoner of War makes him eligible to be President. Too many times in this election has his campaign used his military work as leverage for political success.

    Loyalty to one's country does not make a President, thought it's certainly part of the deal. His life in the military is worth mentioning as it was a big part of the Senator's contribution to the country. But in truth, it is neither a reason to vote for him nor relevant to the campaign when it comes to the issues, because I don't think we doubt either candidate's patriotism.

    June 30, 2008 at 7:05 pm |
  43. Rose from Southern Calif

    What is an person who is unpatrotic? Somebody who believes that all have a right to speak-up the truth and sometimes the truth hurts like a knife.

    June 30, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  44. Cynthia

    Serving in or the lack of service to the military doesn't make one more qualified to be President. We had have several Presidents who did not serve in the military. Senator McCain was using his military service as a part of the reason why he said he is better qualified.

    June 30, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  45. Jolene

    Barclay: These are interesting questions you ask and if discussed will prove to be quite passionate I’m sure. One can debate if McCain's experience as a pilot and POW make for a good president or whether he should or should not be considered a hero. But that was in the past and over 40 years ago. I’m willing to move on but my guess is that others are not this election year.

    I don’t think anyone can dispute that the man was tortured and paid the price of war. He even has stated that every man has their breaking point and he reached his. We often talk about the candidate’s experience and yet learning from and admitting to one’s mistakes can be just as important. I’d much rather learn and hear debates on how to solve and address the issues (the price of gas and the economy being one of them) but I won’t hold my breath. Gotta love politics!

    June 30, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  46. Casey in California

    I think it should be looked at. I personally don't want yet another cog from the military industrial complex in the office of President... haven't we had enough of that already?

    As for Obama's executive experience, I'll trust his ability to manage money over McBush's any day. Abe Lincoln wasn't in the military and he turned out ok. Clinton wasn't in the military and he was pretty darn good, too.

    McCain just keeps changing his position on issues to match the crowd he's speaking to at the moment. Other than that, the only thing I can see is that his beliefs seem to match those of the moron in the office today.

    McCain = Bush's THIRD term

    June 30, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  47. Kent Fitzsimmons,Kewanee, IL

    The candidates are not responsible for what others say. I do understand that sometimes they say it for the campaigns. But, prove it. I agree with Clark..........do we believe all POWs are qualified to be President on that travesty alone? So they don't have to have specific command of troops or what? McCain hasn't. He wasn't in command of anything.............his plane was shot down. I know plenty of soldiers that have fought for their country...................but, I don't want them being President.....................

    June 30, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  48. Larry

    Its true that Barack lets his 'surrogates' run negative ads, but do they check with Barack first; dunno but surely CNN can find out for us.

    June 30, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  49. Jenn/Monrovia, CA

    Personally, while I'm not a McCain supporter, I feel it's a bit tasteless to start questioning his military record, much as I felt it was to question John Kerry's. The man went through a great deal over there in Vietnam, and we will never know the whole story. It's unfair and wrong to try to bring that out to show that McCain is 'unpatriotic'.

    While I don't believe that just because he served means he's better qualified to lead, I do believe that because he served, he deserves the respect and honor that any man or woman who lived up to their oaths has earned.

    June 30, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  50. Cindy

    All of this arguing is about nothing. It doesn't really matter what McCain did or didn't do in the military. Just as it doesn't matter that Obama has never ever served in it! Why not move on from this pettiness and get back to the real issues? It seems this fussing is just used to cover up the fact that neither of them have talked in depth about their plans to get this country back on the right foot, especially Obama.

    And to say that McCain helped his captors by making a video is ludicrous. If someone was torturing you day in and day out you'd do what they wanted you to do also. And there is also Stockholm Syndrome which after a while he may have started having! Unless you've been held captive and tortured then you have no right to speak about what someone did while in captivity. You just need to keep your mouth shut on something that you don'tunderstand.


    June 30, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
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