This apparently was Sen. McCain's first opportunity to respond to Sen. John Kerry's controversial statement today on the Iraq War. Kerry told a group of students: "You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." This is an even more stupid comment than the one Kerry made during the 2004 presidential race when he said he voted for funding the Iraq War before he voted against it.
McCain, like all Republicans today, immediately pounced on Kerry's statement. The Star's Mary Beth Schneider reports:
McCain, also a decorated veteran and former prisoner of war in Vietnam, had a rebuttal drafted and, when no one asked about Kerry at the Statehouse news conference, volunteered that he thought Kerry owed an apology to the troops in Iraq "who answered their country's call because they are patriots and not because of any deficiencies in their education."
"Americans from all backgrounds, well-off and poor, serve in the armed forces of the United States because they are dedicated to the cause of freedom and democracy. They deserve our respect and deepest gratitude," McCain said. "The suggestion that only the least educated Americans would agree to serve in the military and fight in Iraq is an insult to every soldier serving in combat today. This should offend the American people as well."
Indiana's State House reporters were no doubt pleased that McCain chose today to pay his visit to Daniels. I liked the part of Schneider's story where she said McCain, who had a prepared response to Kerry's statement, had to prompt State House reporters to ask him about it. The State House reporters must not have been reading the Internet before the McCain visit. That's all the political blogs were talking about all afternoon and still tonight.