POLITICS

Obama Campaign Slams Charlie Black, McCain's Chief Advisor, For Terror Attack Remarks

07/02/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

***UPDATE*** The Obama campaign has slammed John McCain's chief advisor, Charlie Black, for his comments that a terrorist attack on U.S. soil would create a big advantage for McCain (from the New York Times):

On a conference call organized by the Obama campaign this morning, Richard Ben-Veniste, a member of the Sept. 11 Commission, stopped short of calling for the resignation of Charlie Black, a McCain campaign senior adviser, but accused him of politicizing terrorism.

Mr. Ben-Veniste, a surrogate for Senator Barack Obama and a campaign adviser, said Mr. Black's comment in an article in Fortune magazine that a terrorist attack on American soil between now and the election would be a "big advantage" for Senator John McCain provided a "very disappointing glimpse into the thinking of one of McCain's closest advisers."

But Mr. Ben-Veniste declined to go a step further and suggest that Mr. Black resign or be fired for his statement.

"I don't think it's up to us to suggest how Senator McCain staffs his campaign," Mr. Ben-Veniste said. "I think the remarks were so out of place that they call for some recalibration in the thinking and perhaps a greater adherence to principle here in staying away from the politics of fear."

Yesterday, John McCain quickly disavowed adviser Charlie Black's remarks to Fortune Magazine that a terrorist attack on the United States would be a "big advantage" for McCain.

Despite his disagreement with Black's comments, McCain has made similar remarks in the past.

On the campaign trail in October 2004, McCain responded to concerns that a recently-released tape from Osama bin Laden would impact the election:

"I think it's very helpful to President Bush," said McCain, R-Ariz., while stumping in Stamford for U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays. "It focuses America's attention on the war on terrorism. I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, but I think it does have an effect."

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