McCain, R-Ariz., the presumed Republican presidential nominee, firmly refuses to use his two sons' service to back his argument against U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, The Hill, a Washington newspaper reported.
"He is playing it right. He is not going for the cheap political lines," John Feehery, who worked for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., told the newspaper. Feehery is a contributor to The Hill's PunditsBlog.
Democrats say a McCain administration would represent a third term of U.S. President George Bush's Iraq strategy, The Hill said, though criticizing McCain on the war is a different matter than criticizing Bush, who never served in a war and doesn't have children in uniform.
But the newspaper reported GOP strategists say McCain benefits more by keeping his sons' service off the table than by using them for political gain.
One of McCain's sons is a U.S. Marine who served in Iraq and is currently stationed in California and the other is a student at the U.S. Naval Academy, McCain's alma mater.