WESLEY CLARK & BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA....KISS MY ASS!!
WASHINGTON: The U.S. presidential campaign turned angry Monday as supporters of John McCain rolled out a full-throated defense against attacks on the quality of his military experience and Senator Barack Obama attacked head-on the persistent rumors that his loyalties to the country were doubtful.
The McCain campaign appeared incensed by comments Sunday by an Obama supporter, the retired General Wesley Clark, that even heroic service by the Arizona senator as a naval aviator in Vietnam did not prepare him for the presidency.
"I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president," Clark said.
McCain, at a news conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, said that he thought remarks like Clark's were "unnecessary" but that the question of an apology was up to Obama.
"If that's the kind of campaign that Senator Obama and his surrogates and supporters want to engage in, I understand that," he said. "But it doesn't reduce the price of a gallon of gas by a penny" or do anything else to help Americans.
He added a moment later, "I know that General Clark's comment is not an isolated incident. I have no way of knowing what involvement Senator Obama has in that issue."
Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Illinois Democrat, said Monday that "Senator Obama honors and respects Senator McCain's service and of course he rejects yesterday's statement by General Clark."
A series of McCain surrogates, all with military connections and ties to the senator, made their discontent clear in a conference call arranged by the campaign.
"It is inconceivable to me that anyone would take a shot at Senator McCain's military experience or say he lacked experience because he didn't command troops in wartime, " said Admiral Leighton Smith, who has worked with McCain for years. "General Clark is way off base on this one."
Robert McFarlane, a Vietnam combat veteran who was national security adviser in the Reagan administration, suggested that "this may be part of a larger gambit."
He explained: "If the opposing candidate doesn't really have the experience or knowledge or depth in international affairs, then one approach can be, I suppose, to try to deny that Senator McCain does."
Obama traveled Monday to Independence, Missouri - well-known as the hometown of President Harry Truman - to proclaim his love of the country (Yeah! Right!!) and to try yet again to beat back persistent rumors, kept alive by conservative blogs and the rumor mill, that he is less than a true patriot.
"The question of who is or is not a patriot all too often poisons our political debates in ways that divide us rather than bring us together," he said. "We can no longer afford these kinds of divisions."
He explicitly paid tribute to McCain. Saying that patriotism involved loyalty to American ideals, "a willingness to dissent on behalf of those ideals," but also a willingness to sacrifice, he added that "for those like John McCain who have endured physical torment in service to our country, no further proof of such sacrifice is necessary."
But he sent a measured warning to any political opponent who continues to question his own patriotism.
"I will never question the patriotism of others in this campaign," he said. "And I will not stand idly by when I hear others question mine."
As he spoke, the senator stood on a flag-bedecked stage and, providing visible refutation to rumors, he wore a clearly visible American flag pin on his lapel.
Rumors are a staple of politics, but Obama seems to face an unusual problem in tamping them down.
A Washington Post article Monday summed up the entirely false rumors being widely circulated in small-town America this way: "Barack Obama, born in Africa, is a possibly gay Muslim racist who refuses to recite the Pledge of Allegiance."
Patriotism, national security and foreign affairs were thus set to take an uncommonly high profile this week in both presidential campaigns.
Just as Obama has suffered from persistent rumors, some leftist blogs have been attacking McCain's military record with mounting ferocity.
The Politico journal reported Monday that critics have accused the senator of war crimes for bombing targets in Hanoi in the 1960s and castigated him for his coerced participation - after he suffered serious injuries when his plane was shot down, and following torture - in propaganda films.
McCain, who campaigned Monday in Pennsylvania, was set to travel Tuesday to Colombia and Mexico in his third foreign trip of the year. Obama plans two trips abroad in coming weeks, one to Western Europe and the other expected to include Afghanistan, Iraq and Jordan.
Wesley Clark assails McCain's credentials...
Some on left target McCain's war record?
Oh who the hell does Wesley Clark think he is? Maybe he was commander of Nato during the Croatia/Bosnia thing, but that doesnt even qualify Wesley Clark to make any judgements about John McCain during his time in Viet Nam! John McCain was a Commander of a group of fighter Pilots in Viet Nam who got shot down, was tortured by the enemy and held prisoner for FIVE FRIGGEN YEARS!!! NO! This is nothing like John Kerry and the Swiftboat guy's. The Swiftboat Vets were on Kerry's boat with him and saw what they saw and couldnt take him lying about his experiences not to mention throwing his medals over the wall of the White House. John McCain did his duty, never threw his medals anywhere and paid dearly for his Country. Can Barack Hussein Obama say the same? I think NOT! Screw Wesley Clark and Barack Obama!