McCain Aide's Georgian Ties Become an Issue
By Zachary A. Goldfarb
Aug 10, 2008
The presidential campaign veered Sunday into a discussion about the escalating conflict between Georgia and Russia, with a supporter of Sen. Barack Obama suggesting that Sen. John McCain's criticism of Russia stems from his campaign's connections to Georgian political leadership.
That drew a sharp response from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), reported to be under consideration as a McCain running mate. He said it was wrong for the Obama campaign to focus on any ties between members of the McCain campaign and the Georgian government.
The two countries clashed after Georgia tried to reassert control over a separatist province on Friday. Russia launched airstrikes and mobilized tanks, and quickly ramped up its attack. A senior U.S. official called the Russian response disproportionate to the Georgian action.
McCain immediately called on Russia to stop its incursion into Georgia, while Obama took a more cautious approach advocating restraint on both sides.
Jindal said the conflict underscores why a president with deep experience in international affairs is important.
Richardson, who ran for president himself this year and was a top diplomat in Bill Clinton's administration, said McCain's approach was typical of the Bush administration.