Rockefeller Apologizes to McCain

Rockefeller Apologizes to McCain


Senator John D. Rockefeller IV recently had some unkind words to say about John McCain. In attempt to paint the Republican presidential nominee as out-of-touch with common people, Rockefeller said:

”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 get to the ground? He doesn’t know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues.”

I have a suspicion that other moments in McCain’s military career may have taught him a thing or two about pain and suffering. And really, who knows the plight of the common man quite like a Rockefeller? But, really, what made this statement so offensive is it’s implication that McCain was a cold-hearted killer while serving in Vietnam.

That’s why it’s appropriate that Rockefeller has apologized, 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.”

McCain has accepted the apology.

Once again, we are seeing an example of someone in this election taking rhetoric too far and then either being punished by a campaign or personally apologizing for their words. I don’t know if this level of civility can last but it sure is heartening. People are going to say stupid things during the course of a campaign. What’s important is that those stupid things are rightfully called stupid and not allowed to fester. Let’s see if we can keep it going.

  • gerryf

    Are you kidding me? You call that an apology–I cannot tell if you were using sarcasm or not…I thought it might be at first, but am unclear.

    He didn’t apologize for an insulting remark, he called it an “inaccurate analogy” and a “poor choice of words”–so somewhere in his original statement he still thinks there is a grain of truth to what he said.

    An apology implies actual remorse at an action. There is no apology when you say “it was a poor choice or words.” It’s a half step above being misquoted.

    This is what passes for an apology and you call it civil? C’mon.

    Here’s an apology:

    “”I am sorry for the stupid thing I said. I said that John McCain does not care about the lives of people and he never gets into those issues. I was wrong to say that. He does care. He examines these issues. I was wrong to have said anything other than that. I am sorry.””

    The reason we lack civility in the public discourse is exactly because people accept this kind of insincere vague language as an apology.

    You want real civility? Demand more.

  • Alan Stewart Carl

    He didn’t call his own words stupid but he said they were wrong. I don’t expect people to call themselves idiots, that’s expecting too much. I do expect people to own up when they’ve taken their criticisms too far. I thought his apology was fine.

    I don’t think we should expcet unreasonable standards, otherwise no one will follow them. As long as someone admits they were wrong, I’m cool.