Glad to see the fraternity of American wartime pilots is so tightly bonded:
Let me tell you what I would say to John McCain: neither of us is an expert on national defense. It’s true that you went to one of the service academies but you were in the bottom of the class. It’s true that you were a pilot in Vietnam, that you were shot down and spent most of the war in prison and we all sympathize with that and honor you for your courage. But you and I both had these battle experiences, you as a Navy fighter plane, I as an army bomber. I am not going to criticize your war record and your knowledge of national security but I don’t want you criticizing mine either.
If I’d be allowed just one little dig at Senator McCain, since he gave me. I would say, ‘John, you were shot down early in the war and spent most of the time in prison. I flew 35 combat missions with a 10-man crew and brought them home safely every time.’
With the latter paragraph, McGovern enters–not all that surprisingly–John Kerry Vietnam Mobius loop territory, as McGovern is implying that McCain could have done more to win a war that McGovern explicitly ran against, comparing, at one point in his ’72 campaign, North Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh to George Washington.