(CNN) - Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain criticized the Obama administration's decision to try to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prevents gay service members from serving openly in the military, saying Sunday that "the system is working."
"The military is at its highest point in recruitment, in retention, in professionalism, in capability," McCain said on CNN's "State of the Union." "So to somehow allege that this policy has been damaging the military is simply false."
Instead, McCain called the attempt at repeal "a political promise made by an inexperienced president or candidate for president of the United States."
His comments come as two top American defense officials are scheduled to head to Capitol Hill this week to discuss a new Pentagon report gauging the effects of repealing the policy.
McCain, who serves as the ranking Republican member of the Senate Armed Services Committee was critical of the report.
"I want to know the effect on battle effectiveness and morale, not on how best to implement the change in policy," McCain told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "I don't think that's a lot to ask when we have our young men and women out there serving and fighting and tragically some of them dying."
The study will be released Tuesday ahead of the congressional hearings where the committee will hear testimony from Defense Secretary Robert Gates, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen and the men who led the Pentagon review, Pentagon general counsel Jeh Johnson and U.S. Army Gen. Carter Ham.
-Follow Gabriella Schwarz on Twitter: @schwarzgcnn
Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.
I used to like McCain, back when he stood for something. Before the results of this DOD survey on DADT were released he always said that he wanted to wait for the results until going any further with repealing it. Now that the results are known, he acts like the survey was pointless and discredits it. Grow a pair McCain! If you are going to be anti-gay just come out and say it...the rest of us already know where you stand, and that is why you are not the President right now!
dont ask dont tell needs to be repealed because it is segregation the only difference on that is their segregating people based on the sexual orientation instead of the color of their skin.
Sen McCain is a total embarrassment and hypocite. The reason for the robust military recruitment and retention is that the economy is hard; thus the military provided job security and health care. The majority of the military members do not care whether someone is homosexual or not. They desire individuals who will perform they job/role without failure. I recently reitred from the Army after serving 22 years – gays are in the military and performing well. They are even in our elite Special Operations units. Sen McCain is the same Senator who said on numerous occasions that he would support this repeal if the military brass said so – what a hypocite.
How mavericky of you mcnasty. You were for it before you were against it and so on, so on.
If anyone as inexperienced at anything except running her mouth without thinking because she is too stupid is that twit you didn't vet as your VP. If I were you I would have crawled in a hole and taken that AK bimbo you brought onto the world with you after November 2008.
You are a disgrace to the Navy, POWs and the Nation!
@sickofit - What does being gay have to do with religion? You sound as ignorant as McCain on this issue.
Why is this ruling even on the books? This is clear discrimination and should have been disallowed by the Supreme Court. OK, so it is military law - So what?!?!?
As for McCain himself - His opinions are outnumbered in his own household – 2 to 1. I would have thought that would be a wake up call for him, but when you don't know where you stand on any topic from day to day.....'Nuff said!
This guy is a tool...he lost my support a LONG time ago.
You are out of touch old man!
Most in the military support the repealing of DADT.
The sad thing is you have gay people willing to risk their lives to protect all Americans, including those who think gays are not normal and they are perverted sexual deviants.
I say to them, for every gay person wants to join the military, have one of these haters take their place.
Still beating that "inexperienced' drum, are we? Hate to break this to you Senator, but President Obama now has almost two years more experience at being commander-in-chief than you do.
Also: you're blind. Retention is up because the job market is so tight. Also: DIDN'T YOU USED TO BE FOR REPEAL? You're making me dizzy with all the flip-flopping you're doing to make your base happy.
Typical John McCain brain dead response! Just like his idiot 08 running mate, the "Alaskan Queen Crab"! They sit back for a few days, listen to what other people are saying about the issues, then come forward with their own spin and present themselves as being superior politicians! Republicans and Democrats alike, all spin masters!!