Wednesday, April 23, 2008

GEORGE MCGOVERN GETS DIRECT HIT ON MCCAIN

BADLANDS BLUE - The following is transcribed from Sen. McGovern's speech Saturday night at the McGovern Day dinner in Sioux Falls: Some years ago, I was on one of the networks with former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, one of the chief architects of the war in Vietnam. But the reason I was on television that night is he had just come out with a new book saying that the war was not only it was a mistake, in his words it was a tragic mistake. Well, in the course of that three-way discussion, which included in addition to Secretary McNamara and myself, Sen. John McCain. And in McCain's first opening remarks, he said, well we all know that George McGovern knows little about national defense.

Let me tell you what I would say to John McCain: neither of us is an expert on national defense. It's true that you went to one of the service academies but you were in the bottom of the class. It's true that you were a pilot in Vietnam, that you were shot down and spent most of the war in prison and we all sympathize with that and honor you for your courage. But you and I both had these battle experiences, you as a Navy fighter plane, I as an army bomber. I am not going to criticize your war record and your knowledge of national security but I don't want you criticizing mine either.

If I'd be allowed just one little dig at Senator McCain, since he gave me. I would say, 'John, you were shot down early in the war and spent most of the time in prison. I flew 35 combat missions with a 10-man crew and brought them home safely every time.'

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