Aide who said terror attack would benefit McCain faces calls to quit
Wednesday 25 June 2008
A foreign policy adviser to John McCain is under pressure to quit after he suggested that a terror attack on the US between now and the presidential election would translate into a "big advantage" for the Republican nominee.
Charlie Black issued a statement regretting the remark, which came in an interview he gave for the July issue of Fortune magazine. "I deeply regret the comments," he said. "They were inappropriate. I recognise that John McCain has devoted his entire adult life to protecting his country and placing its security before every other consideration."
At the heart of the controversy was his suggestion that a terror attack would "certainly be a big advantage to" to Mr McCain. He also said that the "unfortunate event" of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December "helped us".
Mr McCain was quick to disown his adviser's remarks. "I cannot imagine why he would say it. It's not true," he said on the campaign trail. "I've worked tirelessly since 9/11 to prevent another attack on the United States of America. My record is very clear."
The Obama campaign directed reporters yesterday to Richard Ben-Veniste, a member of the 9/11 Commission that investigated the terror attacks of 2001. He said Mr Black's remarks were "a candid and very disappointing glimpse into the thinking of one of McCain's closest advisers". While he did not flatly ask Mr Black to resign, he added: "I think 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."
The McCain camp has hardly made any secret of its interest in painting Mr Obama as insufficiently experienced on foreign affairs and, by implication, potentially less well prepared to protect the country from further attacks. However, the attempts of Republicans in the 2006 US Congressional elections to portray Democrats as soft on terrorists apparently had little impact on voters.
Earlier, Mr Obama's spokesman, Bill Burton, had characterised the remark by Mr Black as a "complete disgrace" and "exactly the kind of politics that needs to change".
* Former president Bill Clinton will support Barack Obama in the US presidential election this autumn, his spokesman has said. It is the first time the former president has indicated he would support his wife's former rival since the Democratic primary battle ended three weeks ago.
For rolling comment on the US election visit: independent.co.uk/campaign08
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 Pornhub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Kanye West gives guest lecture at Oxford University: 'If I, Kanye West, can remove my ego, I think there's hope for everyone'
'This is what Islam tells us to do': A rare glimpse inside a Saudi Arabian prison – where Isis terrorists are showered with perks and privileges
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Production Coordinator is required to ...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opening has arisen ...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...