A dozen Iowa supporters of Republican presidential candidate John McCain say rival Barack Obama’s lack of military experience is a "critical" flaw. Evan "Curly" Hultman of Waterloo, a World War II veteran who’s spokesman for "Iowa Veterans for McCain," says in a time of war, America needs a military veteran as commander-in-chief. 

"I think we all see a lack of experience there in any and every area that you want to compare, honestly and fairly, John McCain with the man to be the candidate of the other party," Hultman says. Hultman calls Obama’s current visit to Iraq and Afghanistan a "political stunt."

"Barack Obama said knowing what we know today he still would have opposed the surge and the only reason he has a prayer of in 16 months bringing all the forces out of Iraq is because of the surge," Hultman says. Hultman spoke this afternoon at a statehouse news conference organized by the McCain campaign.

Charles Larson, Senior, of Cedar Rapids — a Vietnam-era vet who served as U.S. Attorney for Iowa’s northern district for both Presidents Bush — was the event’s other speaker and he recited a line from one of McCain’s campaign ad. "The world situation calls for a highly capable, experienced commander in chief and we have to realize that hope is not a strategy," Larson said.

A dozen Obama backers held a news conference earlier today denouncing a McCain campaign ad, saying it "distorts" and "lies" about Obama’s record. Hultman defends the ad. "It’s a statement of fact. You can call that negative if you want to," Hultman says, "but everything we’ve been talking about are facts and what you draw conclusions from."

Hultman, who held the rank of major general in the Army, has been involved in every presidential campaign since 1948. That was the year Truman beat Dewey.