"McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when they (the missiles) get to the ground? He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues," Rockefeller said.
He said he called McCain to apologize.
"I made an inaccurate and wrong analogy, and I have extended my sincere apology to him," Rockefeller said in a statement. "While we differ a great deal on policy issues, I profoundly respect and appreciate his dedication to our country, and I regret my very poor choice of words."
The McCain campaign called on Obama to condemn Rockefeller's words. Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said Obama disagrees with Rockefeller.
"Senator Obama has a deep respect for Senator McCain's service to this country and doesn't agree with what Senator Rockefeller said," Vietor said.
McCain was shot down during the Vietnam War and spent nearly six years as a prisoner of war.
*Are you a politics junkie? We have more political gems on our four political blogs written by a White House insider, PhD and Eyewitness News reporters.