Obama raps McCain adviser over terrorism comment
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.”
Picture credit: Reuters/Steve Marcus. Obama speaks during a campaign visit to the Las Vegas Springs Preserve in Las Vegas, Nevada, June 24, 2008.