Obama raps McCain adviser over terrorism comment

June 25, 2008

LOS ANGELES – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Tuesday criticized a John McCain adviser who was quoted as saying a Sept. 11-type attack before the November election would benefit the Republican White House hopeful.
But Obama stopped short of calling for the firing of Charlie Black, McCain’s top political adviser.
“There are certain things that should transcend politics and the prospect of a terrorist attack on American soil is one of them,” Obama told reporters on his campaign plane while traveling to Los Angeles.
“I think, factually, he’s wrong,” Obama said. He called the foreign policy under Republicans in the last few years disastrous and cited the failure to catch al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and renewed violence in Afghanistan as examples.
“So I’m happy to have that debate about who is actually going to be stronger on terrorism,” Obama said.
Fortune magazine said Black, in discussing how national security was McCain’s strong suit, had said when asked about another terrorist attack on U.S. soil that “certainly it would be a big advantage to him.”
Black apologized for the remarks and McCain disavowed the comment. “I cannot imagine why he would say it. It’s not true,” McCain said, adding he had worked hard since the Sept. 11 attack to prevent another such attack.
Obama, pressed on whether Black should step down from his role advising McCain, said, “I leave it up to John McCain.”

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

Picture credit: Reuters/Steve Marcus. Obama speaks during a campaign visit to the Las Vegas Springs Preserve in Las Vegas, Nevada, June 24, 2008.


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This destructive rhetoric needs to be stopped. When allegedly educated and qualified people continue to make such destructive statements in public forums followed by weak apologies and lame disavowals I think we have a larger problem. These are people showing great fear and using the lowest and most desperate means to try and win at any cost. Even so when McCain’s people suggest that another terrorist attack could bolster his campaign I have to wonder what similarly foolish statement could be made by the Obama campaign and would the public and the press be so willing to forgive and forget?

Posted by Allan J. Cronin | Report as abusive

I’m really confused here. McCain’s advisor thinks it would be beneficial to McCain’s campaign if a terrorist attack were to occur. How does this not create public outrage? The mere suggestion of an attack being advantageous by a proponent of the party for the war on terror is atrocious. Yet not only is it not an outrage, there’s is actual talk about what course of action to take in McCain’s campaign about his future participation. However, when it came to Rev. Wright’s sermons, which were justifiably understandable to someone who studied history, the course of action was obviously clear. There was national media coverage and debate about his and Barrack’s association and disassociation. I don’t see how a member of McCain’s campaign saying that american citizens being wounded and murdered in a terrorist attack would be advantageous to McCain’s presidential campaign, does not merit the same coverage and debate.

Posted by rand | Report as abusive

I’ve read up on this fellow Charles R. Black, Mr. & Mrs. Reader. It appears that he is a dedicated lobbyist (BKSH & Associates), as well as a dedicated Reaganite, Bushite and McCainite. One thing I noted about his career is that he came of age during the Vietnam War as I did, but AVOIDED SERVICE in the active duty uniform of the United States…unlike me and hundreds of thousands of other Americans. This is pretty typical stuff. There are some guys who like to talk about violence. THEY ARE THE TALKERS, not the doers. The doers are Our Sons & Daughters who the talkers put in harm’s way by flapping their lips.

OK Jack

P.S. Here are some links that discuss Mr. Black.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?tit le=Charles_R._Black%2C_Jr
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?tit le=BKSH_%26_Associates
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Bla ck_%28political_adviser%29

Posted by OK Jack | Report as abusive