Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Terrorist Remarks Stay with McCain

After Charlie Black, a McCain campaign senior adviser, commented in Fortune magazine that a terrorist attack on American soil between now and the election would be a “big advantage” for Senator John McCain, Richard Ben-Veniste, a member of the September 11 Commission, shot back stating that Mr. Black’s comments provided a “very disappointing glimpse into the thinking of one of McCain’s closest advisers.” Mr. Black highlighted Barack Obama’s lack of military experience, as opposed to John McCain’s lifetime of experience. Although more explicit than other comments made on behalf of the McCain campaign, these comments fall in line with using fear to influence voters. The hypothetical situation is set up: if a terrorist attack were to occur, it would be Annapolis graduate, Vietnam War veteran President McCain the people would want in office to effectively handle a military response, not President Obama.

Mr. Ben-Viniste went on to state that he thinks, “the remarks were so out of place that they call for some recalibration in the thinking and perhaps a greater adherence to principle here in staying away from the politics of fear.” On Monday, both Mr. Black and Senator McCain apologized for the comments; however, Senator Obama continues to address the larger issue at hand. He declared that the view of another terrorist attack benefiting one candidate or another relates back to President Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign when themes of fear surrounded the discussion on national security.

While Mr. Black has neither been let go nor resigned, Senator McCain has distanced himself from the remarks, stating, "I cannot imagine why he would say it. It's not true. I've worked tirelessly since 9/11 to prevent another attack on the United States of America."

Source: The New York Times, CNN