McCain refers to Americans as 'my fellow prisoners'
Nick Juliano and David Edwards
Published: Wednesday October 8, 2008

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The last two years John McCain has spent on the presidential campaign trail seem to finally have transported the Republican candidate back to the Hanoi Hilton he called home for five and a half years. At a campaign stop in Pennsylvania Wednesday, McCain referred to his supporters as "fellow prisoners" in a botched attack on his Democratic opponent Barack Obama.

"You and I together will confront the $10 trillion debt the federal government has run up and balance the federal budget by the end of my term in office," he said. "Across this country, this is the agenda I have set before my fellow prisoners and the same standards of clarity and candor must now be applied to my opponent."

Judging by McCain's pause, he expected that to be an applause line. Silence greeted him from the perplexed crowd.

Standing behind her father, Meghan McCain briefly furrows her brow, apparently recognizing the 72-year-old seantor's gaffe. Vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin also is flanking McCain on stage, but it is less clear whether she recognizes the mistake.

McCain makes no effort to correct his mistake, but he seemed flustered when the crowd didn't erupt at the line. Glancing down at his prepared text, McCain charged on through to the next line in his speech.

"We've all heard what he said," McCain said of Obama. "But it's less clear what he has done, or what he will do."

McCain and Palin were introduced at the Bethlehem, Pa., stop by a local official who invoked Obama's middle name, Hussein. It's the second time in three days that's happened at an official McCain event, despite the campaign's insistence it doesn't condone such behavior.

This video is from, broadcast October 8, 2008.

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