This is a sequel to the attack ad McCain dropped on him at the beginning of his trip, retaining some of the same points about Obama’s NATO subcommittee and his having steered clear of Iraq for almost three years. It’s also a sequel of sorts to the “Pump” ad from a few days ago suggesting that Obama uniquely was somehow to blame for soaring gas prices; anyone who believes that will, I guess, also believe that he’d torpedo a visit to see wounded troops because there’d be no flashbulbs popping in his face. Not only does that not fit the facts — he left his pool reporters outside when he visited Walter Reed a few weeks ago, and as I noted last night, his spokesman says the plan at Landstuhl was to keep the press on the plane — but even under the worst assumptions, it makes no sense. If you think (and I do not) that Obama’s a sociopath who sees wounded soldiers as nothing but political chips to be played in an election card game, surely we can agree that he’s nevertheless savvy enough to grasp how horribly bad it would look to have photographers with him on a hospital visit in the middle of a campaign. If there were pictures on the wires of him shaking hands with bedridden vets while media vultures crowded around for close-ups, conservatives would have ripped him for it properly and mercilessly and he knows it. Why not stick with the “he went to the gym but not the hospital” point, which is at least factually correct? Why go here?
Update: Here’s the way the ad should have played it:
“If I had been told by the Pentagon that I couldn’t visit those troops, and I was there and wanted to be there, I guarantee you, there would have been a seismic event,” McCain told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an interview to air Sunday on “This Week”…
McCain questioned his rival’s justification: “I know of no Pentagon regulation that would have prevented him from going there — without the media and the press and all of the associated people. Nothing that I know of would have kept him from visiting those wounded troops.”
“All of the associated people” meaning Ret. Gen. Gration, specifically. Obama still has yet to explain why he didn’t just leave him behind.