Earlier today on a Obama campaign conference call with reporters Senator John Kerry questioned “Republican presumptive nominee John McCain’s judgment and grasp of the facts about what’s going on Iraq.”
Yesterday, McCain said that U.S. forces in Iraq have “drawn down to pre-surge levels.” Kerry, citing figures that show the opposite, skewered his friend, fellow Vietnam War veteran and someone who had been talked about as a possible bi-partisan running mate of Kerry’s in 2004. The Massachusetts senator said he has “serious questions” about whether McCain understands the challenges facing the U.S. in Iraq:
But that wasn’t all John Kerry had to say about John McCain today. Kerry also criticized John McCain for using a photo of Gen. David H. Petraeus’s in a fund-raising email pitch, “on the heels of a directive to soldiers from America’s top military official to stay out of politics”:
In a statement from the Obama campaign Kerry said:
“It’s deeply disappointing that Sen. McCain is using a picture of General Petraeus in uniform to raise money and launch negative attacks.”
And it turns out McCain never asked permission to use the photo:
“The McCain campaign did not ask for permission to use the photo,” said a spokesman for General Petraeus, Lt. Col. Joseph M. Yoswa. “General Petraeus is aware of the photo being used. By no means does the use of his photo mean he has endorsed anybody. He has not. He won’t. He remains apolitical.”
The McCain camp got a little testy over the back and forth about his statement on the ‘surge” troop and accused the “Obama campaign and reporters of “trying to nitpick the tense of the verb about the surge troops being home.”” As Ben Smith notes on Politico, the McCain camp’s “verb tense thing is a novel excuse…” ThinkProgress has more.
On a personal note, like many Kerry supporters who had hoped that Kerry had run in ’08, I was looking forward to a Kerry — McCain face off in the general election. Kerry would have wiped the floor with John McSame in my opinion.