McCain's War Record Now Fair Game

Pro-Obama retired general Clark turns up volume on whispers
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2008 12:10 PM CDT

(Newser) – Wesley Clark's answer to a question on Face the Nation yesterday has exposed a simmering campaign issue, Politico reports: whether John McCain’s Vietnam ordeal translates to relevant experience for the presidency. "I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president," said Clark, a Barack Obama supporter.

Obama has consistently praised McCain as a hero, but the comment by one of his highest-profile surrogates inflamed McCain supporters and bloggers across the political spectrum. Pundits on both the farther left and the far right have already raised the issue, Politico notes. And Vietnam-era antiwar activist Tom Hayden rose to McCain's defense, writing in an email, "I know and like McCain." (Read more John McCain stories.)