“It’s mean-spirited and it’s beneath John McCain. It is consistent with what Karl Rove is advising,” the Maryland congressman told Politico.
Echoing Sen. Joe Biden’s comments last night, Hoyer said he liked McCain personally, calling him a “decent person” and referencing his “personal courage” as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
“What he did in refusing release was something that we all ought to respect and honor. He showed great personal integrity,” Hoyer said, referring to the Republican senator’s 5½ years as a POW in Vietnam. “But the issue is what policies he wants to pursue, and that’s what elections are all about.”
Hoyer said the Democratic convention has gone “as well as anyone could have hoped.”
“The personal stories of Barack Obama and Joe Biden are able to relate to almost every American, to the key experiences of our lives to the tragedies and the triumphs,” Hoyer said. “That’s going to be the message out of this week.”
But he warned that Democrats cannot afford to be self-satisfied heading into the general election, harkening back to campaigns past where Democrats squandered post-convention leads in polls.
“I remember when Dukakis was nominated in 1988. We were substantial points ahead, very confident in our hand, and, frankly we rushed it,” Hoyer said. “That is not going to happen this time around.”