Tom Harkin: McCain's Military Upbringing 'Can Be Pretty Dangerous'

May 25th, 2008 11:06 AM

According to an article in the Des Moines Register, a link to which is posted on Mark Levin's Web site, Iowa Democratic Senator Tom Harkin recently argued that John McCain's upbringing by a military family, rather than being a plus, is actually a liability because McCain would have a "hard time thinking beyond" the "world view shaped by" his military family upbringing, and also said it "can be pretty dangerous." Harkin: "Everything is looked at from his life experiences, from always having been in the military, and I think that can be pretty dangerous." So far, the only mainstream media coverage of Harkin's comments seems to have come from FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume on Thursday. (Transcript follows)

Harkin, who himself served as a Navy pilot, tried to  express praise generally for those who join the military on the one hand, while also suggesting that too much of a history with the military should perhaps disqualify a veteran from being a civilian commander-in-chief later: "I just want to be very clear there's nothing wrong with a career in the military ... But now McCain is running for a higher office. He's running for commander in chief, and our Constitution says that should be a civilian ... And in some ways, I think it would be nice if that commander in chief had some military background, but I don't know if they need a whole lot." The complete text of the article from the Des Moines Register can be found here.

Below is a transcript of the story as reported on the Thursday, May 22 Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC:

Iowa Democratic Senator Tom Harkin is being criticized for saying that McCain's military background makes him dangerous. Harkin told reporters on a conference call Friday, quote, "He comes from a long line of just military people, so I think his whole worldview, his life view has been shaped from a military viewpoint, and he has a hard time thinking beyond that, and I think he's trapped in that. And I think that can be pretty dangerous." McCain's spokesman called Harkin's remarks "offensive" and said they showed that Democrats are out of touch with American values.