ABC’s Sunlen Miller and Sarah Amos report: Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign co-chairman, Gen. Tony McPeak, reacted angrily to a comment by former President Bill Clinton today.
Campaigning in Charlotte, N.C., Clinton said, "I think it would be a great thing if we had an election year where you had two people who loved this country and were devoted to the interest of this country, and people could actually ask themselves who is right on these issues, instead of all this other stuff that always seems to intrude itself on our politics."
"Outrageous," McPeak said after an Obama rally in Salem, Ore. "I think it’s horrible. … I think Bill Clinton is, or ought to be, better than that."
McPeak likened the comment to McCarthyism.
"It sounds more like McCarthy," he said. "I was in college when Joe McCarthy was accusing good Americans of being traitors, so I’ve had enough of it."
He said that those who know Obama know that he loves America.
"Is this stupid or what?" McPeak asked. "It’s a use of language as a disguised insult. We’ve seen this before. This real clever spin on stuff."
McPeak said he did not know if Clinton’s comments were intentional or not.
A spokesman for Bill Clinton, Matt McKenna, had earlier elaborated on the former president’s remarks.
"As is indicated by the quote itself, President Clinton was talking about the need to talk about issues, rather than falsely questioning any candidate’s patriotism," McKenna said. "He was lamenting that these kind of distractions ‘always seems to intrude’ on political campaigns. This consistent with his criticism of the ‘politics of personal destruction,’ which dates back 16 years."