McCain Camp Upset Over Radio Host's "Warmonger" Comment

(CBS)
From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

MISSOULA, MT. -- John McCain's campaign has been up in arms over a comment that a radio talk show host made at a fund-raiser in North Dakota last night where Barack Obama was the keynote speaker. Ed Schultz, the host of a nationally syndicated liberal talk show, called John McCain "a warmonger" in his opening remarks at the event.

Obama, who was not in the room when the comments were made, thanked Schultz for the introduction and called him the "voice of progressive radio."

The McCain campaign called on Obama to denounce the comments.

"Barack Obama's willingness to stand-down after a surrogate of his campaign callously called John McCain a 'warmonger' demonstrates an incredible comfort with the old-style politics he claims to reject. Voters will remember that John McCain found himself in a similar position in Cincinnati; the quickness he showed in rejecting the charged environment should reinforce in the minds of voters that there are some elected officials, like John McCain, that walk the walk, and others that are only talking."

The Obama campaign responded saying in a written statement, "John McCain is not a warmonger and should not be described as such. He's a supporter of a war that Senator Obama believes should have never been authorized and never been waged."

Meantime, today Obama told Montana voters that Hillary Clinton's now infamous "3 a.m." ads are used to conjure up fear and scare voters away from change.

"The status quo will resist, not just the Republicans status quo, but some of the Democratic status quo. They're gonna resist change, because change is scary. Change is different. Sometimes even, we ourselves we're doubtful and we're fearful. And then politicians play on that fear. That's what that 3 a.m. phone call ad was all about. To be afraid of what you're not used to. Doubt. It feeds into a cynicism."

Obama argued that Clinton and John McCain had their chance to prove their judgment, but their vote for the Iraq war discounts it.

"When somebody asks you, who you want answering the phone call at 3 in the morning, you tell them that you want somebody who will actually read the intelligence, who will actually listen to the Senate views. Who will weigh the costs and the benefits of any action that's taken," Obama said.

"You want, in other words, somebody with some good judgment and I am happy to stack up my judgment against the other two candidate's judgment because they had their chance and they made the wrong choice and you want somebody who will make the right choices answering that phone call at 3 o'clock in the morning."

Although Obama said he and Clinton will be unified by the Democratic convention in August, he argued that she doesn't understand change.

"My difference with Senator Clinton is not on policy for the most part, it's that I don't think she understands how profoundly we have to change Washington in order to bring about the change that is needed in this election."

Obama and Clinton are both scheduled to speak at the Mansfield-Metcalf Dinner tonight in Butte.
  • Maria Gavrilovic

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