After saying, "I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in the armed forces, as a prisoner of war," he added that these experiences in no way qualify McCain to be president in his view:
"He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn't held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded — that wasn't a wartime squadron," Clark said.
"I don’t think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president."
The McCain campaign quickly trotted out retired Admiral Leighton "Snuffy" Smith (no, not kidding on nickname) to blast away at Clark, according to CNN:
"If Barack Obama wants to question John McCain's service to his country, he should have the guts to do it himself and not hide behind his campaign surrogates," Smith said.
Needless to say, stating that McCain has had no executive responsibility and that getting shot out of the sky is not a presidential qualification is not the equivalent of questioning McCain's service to country, no matter how horrified Admiral Snuffy wants to play it.
And as our own Lava20 astutely asked in a recommended diary yesterday:
Okay. Did a surrogate just attack a candidate for having a surrogate speak for them?