As I read the two statements issued, I am reminded again how important words are, and impressed by Obama's campaign to use words to unite and bridge differences. It is even more obvious the import of that effort when juxtaposed with the typical, as seen in McCain's issued statement.
But today, the McCain camp released a new, cutting statement from retired Army Liutenant Col. Joe Repaya, who, according to a biography from the campaign, served in Vietnam and both Iraq wars:
The most solemn duty of a commander in chief is to fulfill his responsibility to the men and women who serve this country in uniform. Barack Obama had scheduled a visit with wounded American troops who have served with honor and distinction in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he broke that commitment, instead flitting from one European capital to the next.
Several explanations were offered, none was convincing and each was at odds with the statements of American military leaders in Germany and Washington. For a young man so apt at playing president, Barack Obama badly misjudged the important demands of the office he seeks. Visits with world leaders and speeches to cheering Europeans shouldn’t be a substitute for comforting injured American heroes.
The Obama campaign shot back with a message from Tommy Vietor, a spokesman:
As Senator Obama said today, the last thing he wanted was to have injured soldiers get pulled into the back-and-forth of a political campaign. That’s why we imagine Senator McCain would be surprised that his campaign released this wildly inappropriate accusation that politicizes the issue.
Senator Obama and Senator McCain share the belief that we must do everything we can to honor and support our troops, which is why Senator Obama has met with our men and women in uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan this week and visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed numerous times.
Update: The Obama campaign points out that the footage that appears in Mr. McCain’s ad when the announcer talks about Mr. Obama going to the gym instead of visiting troops is actually Mr. Obama playing basketball with soldiers in Kuwait.Excerpted by an article by Sarah Wheaton, nytimes.com