Republican John McCain's campaign accused Barack Obama of having a dangerous and naive approach toward terrorism because the Democrat spoke approvingly of the successful prosecution of those responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.
In a conference call with reporters, McCain adviser Randy Scheunemann said Tuesday: “Sen. Obama is a perfect manifestation of a September 10th mindset. … He does not understand the nature of the enemies we face.” Former CIA director James Woolsey said Obama has “an extremely dangerous and extremely naive approach toward terrorism … and toward dealing with prisoners captured overseas who have been engaged in terrorist attacks against the United States.”
At issue were Obama's comments Monday suggesting the prosecution of the World Trade Center bombers was a better approach than detaining suspects indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay.
Obama said Republicans have no “standing to suggest that they've learned a lot of lessons from 9-11.”
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
He said they “helped to engineer the distraction of the war in Iraq at a time when we could have pinned down the people who actually committed 9-11.” Associated Press
McCain called for a clean break from Bush administration energy policies on Tuesday, and accused Obama of supporting recycled measures that failed in the past.
McCain's bid to chart a middle course on a major issue hit a bump, though, when he criticized Obama for proposing a windfall profits tax, despite saying last month he would consider the same proposal.
In a speech in energy-producing Texas, McCain said the United States needs more oil than during the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, yet produces less. Now, he warned, a single successful terror attack at an oil installation could plunge the country into an “economic crisis of monumental proportions.”
With President Bush's poll ratings at historically low levels, McCain often emphasizes his differences with the current administration, and he coupled his speech with the release of a new television commercial about his plan to curb global warming.
Democrats immediately said McCain was not credible on the issue. Associated Press