Medford, Ore. — Former President Clinton is using divisive tactics and unfairly trying to question Barack Obama's patriotism, a retired general who has a prominent role in the Democrat's campaign said Saturday.
Merrill "Tony" McPeak said he was astonished and disappointed by recent comments Bill Clinton made while speculating about a general election between Obama's Democratic rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Republican John McCain.
Standing next to Obama on stage at a campaign stop in southern Oregon, the retired Air Force chief of staff repeated Bill Clinton's comments aloud to a silent audience.
The former president told a group of veterans Friday in Charlotte, N.C.: "I think it would be a great thing if we had an election year where you had two people who loved this country and were devoted to the interest of this country. And people could actually ask themselves who is right on these issues, instead of all this other stuff that always seems to intrude itself on our politics."
McPeak, a co-chairman of Obama's campaign, then said to his Oregon audience: "As one who for 37 years proudly wore the uniform of our country, I'm saddened to see a president employ these tactics. He of all people should know better because he was the target of exactly the same kind of tactics."