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Old 06-23-2008, 06:27 PM   #1
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Default McCain disavows aide's comment about terrorism

McCain disavows aide's comment about terrorism

By GLEN JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer

FRESNO, Calif. - A top adviser to John McCain said another terrorist attack on U.S. soil would be a "big advantage" for the Republican presidential candidate, drawing a sharp rebuke Monday from both the presumed GOP nominee and Democrat Barack Obama.

Charlie Black, already in the spotlight for his past lobbying work, is quoted in the upcoming July 7 edition of Fortune magazine as saying such an attack "certainly would be a big advantage to him." Black said Monday he regretted the comment.

Black is also quoted as saying the "unfortunate event" of the assassination of former Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto in December 2007 "helped us."

Questioned about Black's comments during a news conference, McCain said, "I cannot imagine why he would say it. It's not true. I've worked tirelessly since 9/11 to prevent another attack on the United States of America. My record is very clear."

Citing his work to establish a commission to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and his membership on the Senate Armed Services Committee, McCain added: "I cannot imagine it, and so, if he said that and I don't know the context I strenuously disagree."

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement: "The fact that John McCain's top adviser says that a terrorist attack on American soil would be a 'big advantage' for their political campaign is a complete disgrace, and is exactly the kind of politics that needs to change. Barack Obama will turn the page on these failed policies and this cynical and divisive brand of politics so that we can unite this nation around a common purpose to finish the fight against al-Qaida."

The remarks caught McCain flat-footed on a day when he focused on energy issues first in a speech, then at a town-hall meeting and then during a news conference as he stood beside two $100,000 electric cars. McCain offered $300 million to anyone who develops a revolutionary automobile battery, and he predicted such incentives would lower alternative energy costs.

Moments later, he was befuddled when reporters asked about Black's comments. Black was similarly surprised when reporters happened upon him outside a later McCain fundraiser.

Speaking quietly, Black read from handwritten notes. "I deeply regret the comments. They were inappropriate. I recognize that John McCain has devoted his entire adult life to protecting his country and placing its security before every other consideration," Black said.

Black repeatedly has argued that McCain a former Navy pilot and Vietnam prisoner of war who has traveled the globe while serving in Congress benefits any time national security matters are the news of the day. By contrast, Obama has less than four years experience in the Senate and has paid only one visit to Iraq. He plans a second trip before the November election.

During the 2004 presidential race, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other Republicans argued that Democratic nominee John Kerry was soft on terrorism; the argument resonated with voters. The GOP also questioned the Democrats' record on national security in 2002, with White House political adviser Karl Rove saying Republicans should not shy away from citing terrorism concerns as a reason to vote for their party.

The approach also paid dividends at the polls during that year's congressional elections.

The GOP line that Democrats had a pre-Sept. 11 mind-set failed in the 2006 midterm elections as Democrats wrested control of Congress from the Republicans.

More recently, former White House press secretary Scott McClellan wrote in a memoir that during the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Bush and his team tried to make the weapons of mass destruction "threat and the Iraqi connection to terrorism appear just a little more certain, a little less questionable than they were."

For his part, McCain has tried to portray Obama as naive on national security and foreign policy.

On Monday, McCain told reporters he was stunned that Obama has never been briefed by Gen. David Petraeus, who is leading U.S. forces in Iraq, yet Obama is calling for a U.S. troop withdrawal.

"Remarkable how someone can make an assessment of the situation without asking for a briefing from the commanding general," McCain said.
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: McCain disavows aide's comment about terrorism

Obama distances himself from Farrakhan
http://www.boston.com/news/politics/...distances.html

Obama distances himself from Clinton
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21022881/

Obama distances himself from Rev. Wright
http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0430/uselection.html

Obama distances himself from Rev Pfleger
http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.s...lf_from_a.html

Obama distances himself from indicted supporter, Rezko
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...ebobama11.html

Obama Distances Himself from Book on U.S.-Israeli Relations
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/09/12/3802/
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: McCain disavows aide's comment about terrorism

I wonder if any of those people

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said another terrorist attack on U.S. soil would be a "big advantage" for the Republican presidential candidate
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: McCain disavows aide's comment about terrorism

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I wonder if any of those people
Do you really want to compare quotes against the "Honorable" Rev Wright?
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: McCain disavows aide's comment about terrorism

Rev Wright wasn't a senior adviser to Obama's campaign

That having been said, Black is correct - as Michael Kinsley said, a gaffe is when a politician is telling the truth
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: McCain disavows aide's comment about terrorism

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Rev Wright wasn't a senior adviser to Obama's campaign

That having been said, Black is correct - as Michael Kinsley said, a gaffe is when a politician is telling the truth
Point taken...but McCain hasnt "distanced himself from so many people that "change"...must mean a "change of address"
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: McCain disavows aide's comment about terrorism

I think this exchange demonstrates the futility of trying to attack candidates on the basis of statements of people who they were assosiated with at some point on their life. I am so much more interested in the candidates' own words and actions than I am by the proxy substitution of someone somewhere on the chain of six degrees of seperation.
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: McCain disavows aide's comment about terrorism

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Point taken...but McCain hasnt "distanced himself from so many people that "change"...must mean a "change of address"
Off the top of my head I know that McCain has fired at least 5 top aides from his campaign because of potentially damaging lobbyist ties and disavowed a spiritual advisor over the past months.

I think that the Nixon years and the related investigations led to a new era of intensive journalistic and political operative vetting for big candidates. But I think the last decade is showing that trend is being extended to every person that can be connected to a candidate during their life. Such is life in the information age I guess.
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: McCain disavows aide's comment about terrorism

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Off the top of my head I know that McCain has fired at least 5 top aides from his campaign this year because of potentially damaging lobbyist ties and disavowed a spiritual advisor over the past months.

I think that the Nixon years and the related investigations led to a new era of intensive journalistic and political operative vetting for big candidates. But I think the last decade is showing that trend is being extended to every person that can be connected to a candidate during their life. Such is life in the information age I guess.
Yep, and it's getting ridiculous.

I'm not sure the controversial statement was even accurate. It might make people think about terrorism more, but it would also have happened on a Republican president's watch and undermined their advantage on the issue.
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:28 AM   #10
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Default Re: McCain disavows aide's comment about terrorism

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Originally Posted by Hawk Believer View Post
I think this exchange demonstrates the futility of trying to attack candidates on the basis of statements of people who they were assosiated with at some point on their life. I am so much more interested in the candidates' own words and actions than I am by the proxy substitution of someone somewhere on the chain of six degrees of seperation.
Obama distances himself from Kevin Bacon
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