Retired Gen. Wesley Clark heaped praise on John McCainJohn Sidney McCainClimate change is a GOP issue, too It's Joe Biden's 2020 presidential nomination to lose Meghan McCain on Pelosi-Trump feud: 'Put this crap aside' and 'work together for America' MORE Tuesday, applauding the former POW's military service but standing by his point that McCain's military experience is not a "qualification to be president."

"John McCain has to be recognized as someone who served his country in uniform," Clark said on MSNBC. "He served with courage; he served with commitment; and I honor that service. And, as I said on the show, he's one of my heroes."

After praising McCain's service, Clark said his time as a POW and Navy pilot is not "the same as having been in the White House or in the Pentagon or at a high-level command and having actually had to wrestle with national policy and national strategic issues."

"So let me explain why I think this is an important issue and why I think it's important that our viewers understand that there's a distinction between having shown your courage and commitment as a soldier, sailor, airman in the (inaudible) Marine in the United States armed forces and having learned from that the judgment that will make you a better president. Because I think ultimately this is a question about who has the better judgment to be commander in chief," Clark said.

"Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaIt's Joe Biden's 2020 presidential nomination to lose Assange hit with 17 new charges, including Espionage Act violations Progressive commentator says Obama was delusional thinking he could work with Republicans MORE is not claiming any experience having been in the armed forces, but I think if you look at their record of what they said on things like Iraq and what they've said on the war on terror, and how they're approaching the use of all of America's powers, not only our military power, you would make a strong case with me that Barack Obama has shown the better judgment."

Since Clark's comment Sunday, the McCain campaign has hit back hard. The campaign has held multiple conference calls and launched a "truth squad" to refute what the campaign says are attacks designed to "denigrate" McCain's service.

Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) said he was "utterly shocked" that Clark would attack McCain in such a "disrespectful way"