The Washington Times - April 1, 2008, 01:58PM
Sen. Barack Obama Republican Sen. John McCain SEE RELATED:

MANHEIM, Pa. — Sen. Barack Obama said yesterday that he would never question Sen. John McCain’s patriotism even as he excoriated the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s position on Iraq.\ \ \ “The guy is a war hero,” Mr. Obama told reporters. He praised Mr. McCain for enduring “horrendous treatment” as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.\ \ \ “I would never challenge him on his patriotism,” Mr. Obama said. “He has earned the honor and respect of the American people.”\ \ \ The presidential campaigns are considering how to address Mr. McCain’s military service, which is likely to be a major boon for the senator from Arizona in the November election.\ \ \ The McCain campaign last week began airing the first commercial for the general election. The ad emphasizes his war service and includes footage of him as a prisoner of war in a North Vietnamese hospital bed.\ \ \ Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean called Mr. McCain “a blatant opportunist” for changing positions to embrace President Bush.\ \ \ The Republican National Committee demanded an apology from Mr. Dean and denouncement of the remarks from Mr. Obama and his Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York. Neither Democratic candidate has denounced Mr. Dean’s comment.\ \ \ \ The Washington Times asked Mr. Obama whether he agreed with Mr. Dean’s characterization, but the senator from Illinois said he had not seen the ad nor heard the DNC chairman’s remark.

Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter, The Washington Times