For Immediate Release
P.O.W. Imprisoned with McCain Goes on Record: "P.O.W. Experience Not Prerequisite for President"
LOS ANGELES - Dr. Philip Butler, a highly decorated combat veteran who
was imprisoned alongside John McCain at the infamous 'Hanoi Hilton'
prison in Vietnam, has gone on record with his opinion of the GOP
presidential candidate in a short video interview with Brave New PAC.
This morning, Brave New PAC will send the video to its email list of
500,000 people, and is preparing for a national TV ad buy.
Dr. Butler was shot down over North Vietnam in April, 1965 and was
brought to the Hanoi Hilton prison, two and a half years prior to
McCain's arrival. He spent eight years in captivity. Butler is critical
of McCain's habitual use of his P.O.W. story to advance his
presidential campaign. "John has allowed I think the media to make him
out to be the P.O.W., the hero, and in fact there were over 600 just
like him who performed just as well." Echoing a similar assertion from
General Wesley Clark two months ago, Butler continues, "I think I can
say with authority that the Prisoner Of War experience is not a good
prerequisite for President of the United States."
Having lived across the hall from John McCain at the U.S. Naval Academy
prior to combat, Butler was a close witness to McCain's famously
volatile temperament. "He was very sensitive and touchy and just easy
to anger," says Dr. Butler. "John McCain is not somebody I would like
to see with his finger near the red button." Butler continues, "John
McCain's temperament makes it clear that he is not cut out to be
President of the United States."
Butler points to the health risks faced by former Prisoners Of War as
another cause for concern about a McCain presidency - a concern
publicly heightened in recent days by McCain's selection of a political
novice as a running mate. "The data show that the Prisoner Of War
group are dying at an earlier age and that we suffer lots of residual
things that non-P.O.W. group really doesn't have to deal with. And
it's imperative that we have someone who is healthy and can stand the
rigors of that job."
Other military veterans agree with Butler's criticism of McCain's
exploitation of his P.O.W. story. Writes Brandon Friedman, a veteran of
both Iraq and Afghanistan and author of 'The War I Always Wanted': "To
see McCain resort to playing the POW card when answering legitimate
questions, in my mind, cheapens that experience. And by cheapening his
own experience in war, he degrades all of our experiences in war. He
turns the horrific incidents we've all seen, touched, smelled, and felt
into a lame excuse to earn political points. And it dishonors us all."
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