McCain called Reid's comments on Gens. Pace and Petraeus "inappropriate" Thursday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Arizona Sen. John McCain sharply criticized Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Thursday over the Nevada Democrat's comments earlier this week reportedly bashing Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace and the top U.S. commander in Iraq, David Petraeus.
"It's incredibly disappointing that Harry Reid would make such disparaging remarks about both the highest ranking officer in the U.S military and the commander of our troops in Iraq," McCain said in a statement. "Generals Pace and Petraeus are two leaders who have spent their entire lives in service to their country and Senator Reid needs to clarify his criticisms, which can only be described as highly inappropriate and regrettable."
In a conference call with liberal bloggers Tuesday, Reid called Pace "incompetent" and made similarly disparaging comments about Patraeus, according to The Politico.
This is not the first time Reid has come under fire for controversial comments. The Senate's top Democrat faced a sharp backlash from the White House in April when he declared the Iraq war "lost," and was quickly criticized by Republican colleagues for calling President Bush a "loser" in May 2005.
On Friday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced he would replace Pace in September. He speculated that Pace's renomination would lead to a "contentious" hearing on Capitol Hill.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney