BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania – Republican John McCain’s military history is famous, but the service of his sons is less well known. And until recently, that’s exactly how the presidential candidate and his wife, Cindy, wanted it.
But on Wednesday, Mrs. McCain made a rare reference to her sons when criticizing the Illinois senator for his 2007 vote against a war funding bill. McCain has two sons in the military, and one has served in Iraq. “The day that Sen. Obama decided to cast a vote to not fund my son when he was serving sent a cold chill through my body,” McCain told a crowded rally in Pennsylvania, an electoral battleground state.
“I would suggest that Sen. Obama change shoes with me for just one day and see what it means … to have a loved one serving in the armed forces and more importantly, serving in harm’s way,” she said. “I suggest he take a day and go watch our fine young men…and women deploy, get on those buses and leave with a smile.”
McCain also invoked vice presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s son, who recently deployed to Iraq.
”We have a lot in common, the McCain family and the Palin family,” she said. “We represent between us the Army, the Navy and the United States Marine Corps.”
Obama voted against the funding bill in 2007 but supported a version that included a timetable for withdrawal for U.S. troops from Iraq.
The son of Obama’s vice presidential running mate, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, has just been sent to Iraq with the Army National Guard, and will be there for about a year. Obama has two young daughters.
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Photo credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria