McCain Adviser: Terrorist Attack Would Help McCain in Election

By Kelly Moeller

Jun 23, 2008 4:05pm

McCain adviser Charlie Black told Fortune Magazine that national security events help Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

"The assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December was an ‘unfortunate event,’ says Black. ‘But his knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who’s ready to be Commander-in-Chief. And it helped us.’ As would, Black concedes with startling candor after we raise the issue, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. ‘Certainly it would be a big advantage to him,’ says Black."

Per ABC News’ Bret Hovell, McCain distanced himself from the remarks today.

"I cannot imagine why he would say it," McCain said. "It’s not true. I’ve worked tirelessly since 9/11 to prevent another attack on the United States of America. My record is very clear. The Armed Services Committee, and pieces of legislation. Sponsoring with Joe Lieberman the 9/11 Commission so we could find out the causes and how to fix the challenges that we face to fix the security of our nation. I cannot imagine it. And, uh. So, I would … If he said that, and I do not know the context, I strenuously disagree."

Regardless of McCain distancing himself from Black’s sentiment, Democratic consultants have said similar things to me.

- jpt

UPDATE: Hovell reports that outside McCain’s Fresno fundraiser, Black read a statement: “I deeply regret the comments—they were inappropriate. I recognize that John McCain has devoted his entire adult life to protecting his country.”

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