Jay Rockefeller

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John D. "Jay" Rockefeller, IV
U.S. Senator from West Virginia
From: January 15, 1985 – January 6, 2015
Predecessor Jennings Randolph
Successor Shelley Moore Capito
29th Governor of West Virginia
From: January 17, 1977 – January 14, 1985
Predecessor Arch A. Moore, Jr.
Successor Arch A. Moore, Jr.
22nd West Virginia Secretary of State
From: 1968–1972
Governor Arch A. Moore, Jr.
Predecessor Robert D. Bailey, Jr.
Successor Edgar F. Heiskell, III
Party Republican (before 1966)
Democrat (since 1966)
Spouse(s) Sharon Percy Rockefeller
Religion Presbyterian

John Davison Rockefeller, IV, known as Jay Rockefeller (born June 18, 1937 (age 87), is a former United States Senator from West Virginia. He is a Democrat and voted with a majority of his party colleagues ninety-two percent of the time at one point in Congress.[1] He is the great-grandson of John D. Rockefeller, the grandson of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and the son of John D. Rockefeller III. He is also the nephew of former Vice President and New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller.

In an April 2008 interview, he attacked former prisoner-of-war John McCain's service as a Naval aviator. He told the Charleston Gazette, "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 get to the ground? He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues."[2] Despite Rockefeller's claims, laser-guided missiles did not come into service until after Senator McCain became a prisoner-of-war and McCain was engaged in a low-level attack on a heavily defended power plant in Hanoi when he was shot down. In fact, he was never at a distance of 35,000 feet during his combat missions. It must also be noted that John McCain was not a fighter pilot. Contrary to Rockefeller's ignorance about the U.S. military, fighter pilots do not engage in bombing; they are responsible for protecting bombers. They generally engage other aircraft and most of their targets are air-to-air. Rockefeller later apologized for the comment, saying he had made an "inaccurate and wrong analogy" and regretted his "very poor choice of words".[3]

Iraq Comments

Rockefeller made a public statement about Saddam's Iraq in 2002. "There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ..... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction." - Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

Once Saddam was overthrown, many Democrats changed their position on the war. Senator Jay Rockefeller said, "It is my belief that the Bush administration was fixated on Iraq... The committee has concluded that the administration made significant claims that were not supported by the intelligence."[4]


On January 11, 2013, Senator Rockefeller announced that he would not seek re-election in 2014.[5]

His wife, Sharon Percy Rockefeller, was one of the twin daughters of U.S. Senator Charles H. Percy, a Moderate Republican from Illinois.


External links