- Senator John McCain, presumptive Republican presidential nominee, on December 27, 2007 after hearing that Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in Pakistan.
Senator McCain obviously forgot that he made this statement last December while in the hunt for his party's nomination, as he attempted to distance himself from a major gaffe by one of his chief advisers, Charlie Black, on yesterday. Black inadvertently spoke about the McCain strategy to take advantage of a terrorist attack, if one were to occur during this election cycle.
Charlie Black said that Benazir Bhutto’s killing was an “unfortunate event.” But, he argued, McCain’s “knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who's ready to be Commander-in-Chief." Asked if McCain would stand to benefit from a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Black replied, “Certainly it would be a big advantage to him.”
What follows is a statement from the Obama campaign:
“Barack Obama welcomes a debate about terrorism with John McCain, who has fully supported the Bush policies that have taken our eye off of al Qaeda, failed to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, and made us less safe. The fact that John McCain’s top advisor 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 Qaeda,”
Read the entire New York Times article that calls John McCain's reaction to Charlie Black's comment in to question here.
Read the entire New Republic article on the McCain Camp comments here.
plez sez: okay... we're dealing with two issues here:
(1) john mccain is older than ronald reagan when he first ran: i'm in my mid-forties and i tend to forget things or my mind makes up new details around past events... i can only imagine what it would be like to be 72-years old and trying to remember every damn thing i've uttered on a daily basis over the past 12 months while engaged in a vigorous campaign to be president of the united states. in addition to being more than a little forgetful, mccain also has the uncanny ability to flip-flop his position while he's forgetting what he said; in my defense, i'm pretty consistent in my stances, so if i was for something last year, i'm more than likely still for it today. mccain has obviously forgotten that one of his campaign strategies was to take FULL ADVANTAGE of any terrorist activity to prove his chops as the next commander-in-chief (as he uttered after the bhutto assassination).
(2) a gaffe is when you inadvertently tell the truth: a show of hands here, who doesn't think that the mccain campaign would milk a terrorist attack on the united states for all that it was worth and claim that he is imminently more qualified than Barack Obama to handle any such event if he were in the white house? easier question: who wouldn't put it past the bush administration and the republicans to manufacture a terrorist attack in let's say mid-october (i.e. an october surprise) to scare the electorate into voting for the 72-year old mccain over the relatively inexperienced Barack Obama?
nothing surprises plezWorld these days and just to think we have about five months left before we get to elect our new president. i keep in mind that john mccain has only recently attempted to distance himself from george w. bush and his failed foreign policies: osama bin laden hasn't been captured in seven years after 9/11, the taliban is still alive and kicking in afghanistan, al-qaeda has grown in strength since the invasion of iraq, the basis to attack iraq was based on lies, etc. mccain speaks of years of experience, i argue that cheney & rumsfeld & powell had more experience than mccain, and we see the mess they got us into. and based on mccain's campaign staffer comments, it is obvious that mccain plans to capitalize on striking terroristic fear into the hearts of americans, similar to the tactics used by bush when he ran for reelection in 2004!
i'm voting for Barack Obama... let's give change a chance!