WASHINGTON, June 30 (UPI) -- Left- and right-wing political commentators are tackling a subject moderate Democrats and Republicans won't touch: U.S. Sen. John McCain's military record.
The latest salvos against the presumptive Republican presidential candidate's war record came from a liberal blog and from retired U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark, who said he didn't think McCain's service as a fighter pilot and prisoner of war was relevant to running the country, Politico reported Monday.
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., the likely Democratic nominee, consistently praises McCain's military service, and called him "a genuine American hero."
Americablog's John Aravosis accused McCain, R-Ariz., of "disloyalty" for his forced participation in propaganda films and interviews after he was tortured, the Washington publication said. Others questioning McCain's record include the Huffington Post, the newsletter CounterPunch and a POW/MIA movement.
"(What) exactly is McCain's military experience that prepares him for being commander in chief?" Aravosis asked.
McCain spokesman Brian Rogers countered, "The American people know that John McCain's record of service and sacrifice is not a matter of debate."
Aravosis noted similar charges were leveled against 2004 presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
"(The) Republicans sported Band-Aids to mock John Kerry's medals from Vietnam. They mocked his injuries in war," Aravosis told Politico. "McCain isn't being mocked, he's being questioned."