Senator John D. Rockefeller IV recently had some unkind words to say about John McCain. In attempt to paint the Republican presidential nominee as out-of-touch with common people, Rockefeller said:
â€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 get to the ground? He doesnâ€™t know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues.â€
I have a suspicion that other moments in McCainâ€™s military career may have taught him a thing or two about pain and suffering. And really, who knows the plight of the common man quite like a Rockefeller? But, really, what made this statement so offensive is itâ€™s implication that McCain was a cold-hearted killer while serving in Vietnam.
Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s appropriate that Rockefeller has apologized, saying:
â€I have deep respect for John McCainâ€™s honorable and noble service to our country. I made an inaccurate and wrong analogy and I have extended my sincere apology to him. While we differ a great deal on policy issues, I profoundly respect and appreciate his dedication to our country, and I regret my very poor choice of words.â€
McCain has accepted the apology.
Once again, we are seeing an example of someone in this election taking rhetoric too far and then either being punished by a campaign or personally apologizing for their words. I donâ€™t know if this level of civility can last but it sure is heartening. People are going to say stupid things during the course of a campaign. Whatâ€™s important is that those stupid things are rightfully called stupid and not allowed to fester. Letâ€™s see if we can keep it going.