Obama to his Surrogates: Be Careful

By Jacqueline Klingebiel

Apr 10, 2008 2:25pm

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller Reports: Without naming names, at a rally in South Bend, Indiana Obama vaguely addressed another controversy spurred by one of his surrogates, and warned his supporters to be careful what they say about his opponents.

On Monday, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), an Obama supporter, cased a dust up when he criticized Senator John McCain in an interview with the "Charleston Gazette."

Rockefeller was quoted as saying, "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 [the missiles] get to the ground? He doesn’t know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues."

The McCain campaign was quick to call for Obama to denounce Rockefeller’s statement, saying it was an insult to the men and women serving in America’s military.

In Indiana Obama, snuck in a line of warning to his surrogates, a presumed response to Rockefeller’s criticism of McCain’s service, "I respect John McCain. I revere the service he’s provided for our country. And I think he deserves credit for that. And some of my supporters and surrogates, they’ve got to be careful about that. We always have to be respectful of our opponents."

The Obama campaign also released a statement reiterating that Obama does not agree with Rockefeller’s assertion of McCain’s service. On Tuesday Senator Rockefeller released a statement himself saying he made an inaccurate and wrong analogy, and that he has apologized to McCain.

This recent surrogate comment is just he latest episode in a long string of candidate’s surrogates causing controversy this campaign season; most notably on Obama’s team: one of his top foreign policy advisors, Samantha Powers, stepped down after calling Hillary Clinton a "monster."

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