McCain Uses Swift Boaters He Once Condemned To Defend Himself
And it stems from this exchange between Bob Schieffer and Wesley Clark on Sunday’s Face The Nation.
Bob Schieffer: How can you say that John McCain is un- untested and untried? General?
GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Because in the matters of national security policy making, it’s a matter of understanding risk. It’s a matter of gauging your opponents, and it’s a matter of being held accountable. John McCain’s never done any of that in his official positions. I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in Armed Forces as a prisoner of war. He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn’t held executive responsibility. That large squadron in Air- in the Navy that he commanded, it wasn’t a wartime squadron. He hasn’t been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn’t seen what it’s like when diplomats come in and say, ‘I don’t know whether we’re going to be able to get this point through or not. Do you want to take the risk? What about your reputation? How do we handle it-‘…I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.
Here is the video.
Clark did not impugn the service of John McCain, but McCain’s service was impugned during the 2000 race by Bush surrogates.
… Bush surrogates (several later involved in the Kerry swiftboating effort) skillfully turned McCain’s service record against him (thereby deflecting questions about Bush’s own service record.) They planted stories that the torture McCain suffered as a POW had brought about mental instability, including rumors that he had been programmed as a “Manchurian candidate” who “collaborated with the enemy.” No longer could McCain use the fact that he had endured torture as evidence of dedication to serving his country.
In the 2000 South Carolina Presidential primary Bush surrogates circulated stories that McCain’s five years as a POW had made him “mentally unstable,” gave him a “loose screw,” that he “committed treason while a POW” and “came home and forgot us.”
And McCain blamed Bush for what was being done to him then.
”You’re putting out stuff that is unbelievable, George, and it’s got to stop,” he said. ”And your ads have got to stop.”
Furthermore, in spite of the fact the McCain condemned the swift boat hits on John Kerry in 2004, calling them “dishonest” and “dishonorable,” one of the swift boaters, Bud Day, was on a McCain conference call to push back against what Clark said.
A reporter on the call asked Day how the current flap over Clark’s comments compared to the Swift Boat flap.
Day said that, well, the charges against Kerry were accurate and the ones against McCain were inaccurate.
“The Swift Boat attacks were simply a revelation of the truth,” Day said.
So, now McCain uses swift boaters to do what he condemned four years ago.Click here for reuse options!
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