Wexler: McCain's 'calculating the value of a terrorist attack' is 'eerie'
When McCain's top strategist Charlie Black was quoted as saying that a new terrorist attack would "be a big advantage" to the McCain campaign, McCain responded that "I cannot imagine why he would say it. It's not true."
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann pointed out on Wednesday that several examples have now emerged of McCain himself suggesting that terrorism could be good for the GOP. For example, in 2004, a Connecticut paper quoted McCain as saying during a local campaign stop that thanks to the release of an alleged al Qaeda tape, "Bin Laden may have just given us a little boost."
Olbermann asked Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) whether Senator Barack Obama is right when he suggests playing the terror card won't work this time around.
"He is right about the shift," Wexler replied, "The Bush administration and Senator John McCain have lost their credibility -- but still Senator Obama has to go out and aggressively make the argument."
"If this were just one comment by John McCain, or one comment by his chief strategist, that might be forgivable," Wexler continued. "But this is now the second, possibly the third instance in which the mindset of John McCain is becoming quite evident. ... He appears to be calculating the value of a terrorist attack or an assassination to his campaign, and that's quite eerie."
"I don't think we should just focus on Mr. Black," Wexler emphasized. "We ought to focus on Senator McCain himself, because this seems to be a joint effort."
"Why is nobody calling McCain on any one of those remarks?" Olbermann asked.
"When we thought it was only once, you could forgive it," Wexler stated. "But now when I hear you talk about what is the third instance, that's a pattern of attempting to use fear."
Wexler suggested that "Senator Obama needs to go out and say, 'You know what? These guys' credentials on security matters aren't any good anyway. Senator McCain, President Bush, they were wrong on the Iraq War ... taking our sights off Osama bin Laden. ... they put all their eggs in Musharraf's basket. ... The McCain-Bush policies have not made America safer.'"
Wexler concluded by noting that Congress also has an important role to play. "We need to hold the Bush-McCain positions accountable and engage, in my view, in inquiry of impeachment with respect to the lies that the Bush administration foisted on the American people as they took us to war in Iraq."
This video is from MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast June 25, 2008.