Senator Jay Rockefeller on McCain’s Vietnam service (MORE: APOLOGY ISSUED)

The junior Senator from West Virginia, fresh off of endorsing Barack Obama for president, had this to say about the man who will be Obama’s opponent should he get the Dem nomination (via Jake Tapper):

Rockefeller criticized Sen. John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee for president. “Senator McCain does have a temper. But today, he speaks in a monotone on the campaign trail.”

Rockefeller believes McCain has become insensitive to many human issues. “McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit.

“What happened when they [the missiles] get to the ground? He doesn’t know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues.”

West Virginian Don Surber has the full quote, which was provided by Rockefeller’s office. It reads:

Question: “…I’ve heard stories on his hot anger. Wondering what sort of a stable guy he is, and if you have any impressions.”

Rockefeller: “I do, I’m not sure I want to say them. Serve on Commerce together… he does have a temper. Out on the trail, everything’s sort of been monotone. Everything is tamped down. I don’t think that will survive the general election.

“Frankly, other than hot-button issues like campaign finance reform… he isn’t grounded in issues that affect people. All of a sudden he’s for all the tax cuts he was against. He’s a fighter pilot. He flies at 35,000 feet and drops laser-guided bombs, missiles. He was long gone when they hit. What happened down there, he doesn’t know. That’s unkind, because that’s fighting for your nation and that’s honorable. But you sort of have to care what goes on in the lives of people…. “

Don thinks the complete quote makes a difference in what Rockefeller said. I don’t, but believe the Charleston Gazette should have posted it in its entirety nevertheless. Your thoughts?

Update – 5:03 PM: The Senator has issued an apology:

On Tuesday, Rockefeller issued a statement, saying, “I have deep respect for John McCain’s honorable and noble service to our country. I made an inaccurate and wrong analogy and I have extended my sincere apology to him.

“While we differ a great deal on policy issues, I profoundly respect and appreciate his dedication to our country, and I regret my very poor choice of words” he said.


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