The advisor, retired Gen. Merrill A. "Tony" McPeak, said in a telephone interview that Obama has "real gravitas, not artificially created, focus-grouped, poll-directed, rehearsed gravitas."
He also said Obama "doesn't go on television and have crying fits; he isn't discovering his voice at the age of 60" -- references to Clinton's much-publicized show of emotion during the New Hampshire primary campaign and her speech after winning the contest in which she declared that she had "found my voice."
McPeak later retracted his remarks, and the Obama camp disassociated itself from them. [...]
An Obama campaign aide was on the line during the interview. Minutes later, McPeak called back to say he regretted his remarks and that he has "high regard" for Hillary Clinton.
He also expressed concern that "some of those loose-lips-will-sink-ships quotes will be the big story."
In an email, the Obama campaign said McPeak's words "crossed the line" and that Obama "strongly disagrees with these comments and apologizes on behalf of the campaign."