Let's call the Straight Talk Express truth squad in to investigate this one. It's HOT! While visiting Pittsburgh, John McCain said that while he was captured, he really loved the Steelers! The 1967 Steelers were 4-9-1. (thanks to Scarce)
When I was first interrogated and really had to give some information... I named the starting lineup, defensive line, of the Pittsburgh Steelers as my squadron-mates!" -- Sen. John McCain
McCain also said the same thing about the 1967 Green Bay Packers. McCain was a POW from late 1967 to early 1973.
As Newsweek states: For John McCain, memories seem to be malleable things.
But given that McCain's misremembering was so politically convenient--what better way to curry favor in a key swing-state city, really, than by slotting a beloved local sports squad into a moving personal tale?--it's worth recalling that the senator has claimed to have made exactly the same sort of "mistake" repeatedly in recent weeks.
In McCain's best-selling 1999 memoir "Faith of My Fathers," McCain writes:
"Once my condition had stabilized, my interrogators resumed their work. Demands for military information were accompanied by threats to terminate my medical treatment if I did not cooperate. Eventually, I gave them my ship's name and squadron number, and confirmed that my target had been the power plant. Pressed for more useful information, I gave the names of the Green Bay Packers offensive line, and said they were members of my squadron. When asked to identify future targets, I simply recited the names of a number of North Vietnamese cities that had already been bombed."
In 2005, A&E ran a movie version of "Faith of My Fathers."
And McCain discussed that precise clip on CNN.
The actor playing McCain, asked to name the men in his squadron, says: "Starr; Greg; McGee; Davis; Adderly; Brown; Ringo; Wood."
Cut back to real life. The CNN anchor asks McCain: "For those who don't know the story, were those NFL football players?" "That was the starting lineup of the Green Bay Packers, the first Super Bowl champions, yes," McCain responded.
UPDATE: Will this story come back to hurt McCain as we move forward in the general election? I think it gets at the truthiness of his character. I'm not sure what we can call this. It's not flip flopping, is it? And is he starting to use his war record just a little to much to promote himself?
UPDATE II: Does McCain's pandering to his Pittsburgh audience cheapen his POW experience so much, he needs to refrain from mentioning it?