FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
John McCain's military service doesn't automatically qualify him to be president according to retired General Wesley Clark.
General Clark is a former NATO commander who backed Hillary Clinton and now supports Barack Obama. He says that performing heroic military acts is not a substitute for command experience. Clark says he honors McCain's service as a POW, and calls him a hero. He credits McCain's time on the Senate Armed Services Committee and his travel worldwide, but he points out that John McCain hasn't held executive responsibility. General Clark says, "I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.”
McCain was more than just a fighter pilot, though. After being a POW, he went on to become the commanding officer of the largest squadron in the U.S. Navy.
McCain's campaign responded, saying Obama doesn't stand for a new kind of politics, that he's willing to do and say anything to get elected - including allowing his surrogates to "demean and attack" McCain's military record.
Barack Obama has formally rejected Clark's comments, with a spokesman adding that Obama "honors and respects" McCain's service.
But, Clark isn't the only one. The Politico reports that John McCain is coming under fire about his military service from critics on the left and right. Some accuse him of war crimes for bombing targets in Hanoi during the '60s. One liberal blog is accusing McCain of "disloyalty" during his time as a POW since he participated in Vietnamese propaganda films and interviews. Others are asking for more detailed records from McCain's Navy service.
Here’s my question to you: Are John McCain's military credentials overrated?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
McCain's service should be respected. Our past is always with us, so whatever he did and didn't do is something he has to live with. I do honor all of our military service people and McCain is no different. However, I hope he doesn't wear POW on his forehead believing that will bring him votes. It won't get mine!
I doubt they're overrated but I don't think they're necessarily a qualification for president. It's an old and tired way of thinking that a war hero qualifies anyone for the presidency. It really is time for change and that includes many of the old ideas that qualify one for the presidency. I don't think he's qualified to be president, period.
Ray from West Chester, Pennsylvania writes:
I think Gen. Wesley Clark's statements are simply stupid from a political standpoint. Why would you want to bring up McCain's military service as an issue in the first place? The discussion hurts Obama much more than McCain. 1. Obama has no military service. McCain served in the Navy in a war zone. 2. Obama has no executive experience. McCain was an officer. 3. McCain is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate. Annapolis is probably one of the greatest leadership schools in the world.
Allen from West Virginia writes:
John McCain's service alone does not make him qualified to be commander-in-chief. However, when combined with his years in the Senate, including as former Chairman and current Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, he has very reputable credentials.
Obama made a mistake rebutting Clark who had a very down to earth point: McCain’s military credentials are not out of the ordinary. I fail to see how being shot down and the subsequent consequences make you a better commander-in-chief.It's like being mugged on the street would make you a better candidate for mayor.