November 5th, 2012
10:12 AM ET
5 years ago

McCain: Veterans' anger over Benghazi could affect election

(CNN) – With less than 24 hours to go until Election Day, Republican senator and former presidential nominee John McCain said he's seen unprecedented anger from veterans over the September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya that could influence Tuesday's election.

"I've been traveling all over the country and veterans are angry. They're angry; they're upset; they don't trust Barack Obama. There's 1.6 million of them in Florida, for example. I think they could have an impact on this election," said McCain appearing on CNN's Starting Point Monday.

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While conceding the focus of this election is jobs and the economy, McCain said "I've never seen veterans as upset and as angry as they are over Benghazi."

McCain, a war veteran himself, has been a high-profile voice in a powerful chorus critical of President Barack Obama's administration's handling of the attack in Libya that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

"This cover up is worst that I've ever seen, either incompetence or cover up. There was no demonstration," he said. Critics have accused the administration of laying blame for the attack on mobs angered by an anti-Muslim movie and for failing to properly recognize the security threat in the region.

"There was no demonstration there," McCain repeated. "There was no hateful video and the Libyans called it right away and everybody knows it."

On a lighter note, the man who was in Republican nominee Mitt Romney's shoes this time four years ago and the last presidential candidate to faceoff with then-Illinois Sen. Obama said right now Romney is feeling the "adrenaline."

"You're going hard and you know really this is your last shot," said McCain of the final days of his presidential bid in 2008. "We certainly did know that in 2008 because we were aware of the polls but it's such an exciting and incredible experience. And how few people in history have ever had the opportunity."

Joking, the Arizona senator added:

"I have a line that I use all the time: After I lost, I slept like a baby: sleep two hours, wake up and cry, sleep two hours, wake up and cry"

–CNN's Michael Pearson contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • John McCain
soundoff (288 Responses)
  1. Glenn Rice

    Vet's are angry about Benghazi but they're OK with Mitt hiding in Paris to avoid service and all of his sons deciding that working on Mitt's campaign is the equivalent of serving in the military? Who knew?

    November 5, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    This guy is a senile idiot. We should fasten this lunatic in sun-room. Through some food from window. Idiot. GOP thugs no brain. Enough. Obama12.

    November 5, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. Charlie O

    John McCain is an bitter idiot. He finished third from the bottom of his class at the academy. He was one the worst pilots that flew in Vietnam. That's why he ended up as a POW. He's been riding off his POW fame; and time has run out on that coat tail. IT'S WORN OUT. He should retire from the senate; so somebody with sense can hold that seat.

    November 5, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. CryBabies

    @Bill Perkins...Gee Bill , What do you suppose it tells you? I'd draw a picture for you but I'll give you credit to figure it out on your own.

    November 5, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. RealDeal4U

    I'm a veteran and there is a bit of a pack with those that served harms way. When we leave people without any support in Benghazi that rubs us wrong way. That is in essence a violation of a sacred oath.

    November 5, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. Kef14

    I'll agree with McCain that old people that watching fox news all day long are super angry. It's because they're brainwashed by McCain and his gang. Nice work brainwashing people into anger John.

    November 5, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. a guest

    John McCain is an old has been. I belong to 2 veterans groups and I have heard nothing about what McCain is talking about. John McCain should have been tried as a war criminal when he was released from the Hanoi Hilton.
    This guy murdered and slaughtered thousands of innocent civilians with the naplam bombs he released on them and they did nothing absolutly nothing to our country. He will lie through his teeth to get Romney elected and Romney is doing the same. If Romney gets in, I pity our country. We will not come together for him or that lyin Ryan. We are Democrats and as in the words of that Mitch McConnel we will deny Mitt Romney a second term, that will be our primary purpose. Our country will become a police state and their will be prisons for raped women and their doctors if they get an abortion. The Presidency will be run by the religious right and Ryans christian jedo ideas along with the tea party and organizations like the Einhorn Foundation and the Bradley Foundation and the Koch brothers.
    The ordinary Americans will be screwed and that will be the 47% and more if they get their way.

    November 5, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  8. kayla

    old man river if you and air head could not beat the prez in 08, what makes you think you can help the multiple personality twitt win? get over it you lost

    November 5, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  9. DENNA

    Yeah McCain, THAT'S why they don't trust the president. But they just loved W sending them in to Iraq for non-existent weapons of mass destruction. There is no coverup on Benghazi except in the minds of the Rethugs and senile old Rethug cast-off McInsane.

    November 5, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. DBooth

    Get real people! It's not just about whether higher-ups reacted swiftly enough as the attack was taking place!! Pretending that this is the main issue is just a straw man distraction used to accuse others of "politicizing" the topic.

    The REAL polticizing of this topic began when someone decided to play down the known security concerns about Benghazi in general (highest per capita contributor of suicide bombers to Iraq) and in particular (after the Red Cross and British were attacked and pulled out) apparently PURELY for political reasons.

    It was further politicized when the President insisted that any concern over his political decisions - pre-attack security, pressure being put on You Tube and the anti-Mohammed video maker, the video maker being perp-walked in front of cameras and thrown in jail, the "spontaneous event" spin coming out of the White Houst & State Dept for weeks, the "apology tour" and Obama/Clinton video distributed around the Middle East, etc. - were merely political in nature!

    There are likely even BIGGER issues at play here that are yet to be revealed, in large part due to the mainstream media's almost Venzuelan-like collective shucking of their watchdog responsibilities. Interesting that CBS today revealed additional previously-unreleased "60 Minutes" transcripts where Steve Kroft pressed Obama for obsfucating on the "attack vs. riot" question that morning in the Rose Garden, and Obama doesn't push back ... DOES NOT insist that he was linking it to terrorism or militias. And yet the selectively editted transcript they posted previously was used to back Obama's airbrushing of history. (Go see it now before it gets "corrected" again!)

    November 5, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. IAMBeowolf

    Hmmm... let's see. When Bush first heard that a plane crashed a tower in NYC he kept reading a childs book to kids for another 11 min...
    Don't angry about that. It takes 16 min to scramble fighters to protect the NYC airspace... 11 of which were wasted on my favorite Goat.

    November 5, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. Dave T

    But they are ok with Mitt not mentioning them during his speech during the RNC convention. And were the same veterans and McCain outraged over the 11 attacks on foreign embassies and 43 dealths while George W Bush was president. McCain needs to stop being a sore loser.

    November 5, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. John McCain, King of the welfare queens

    Hey John, where was the outrage when george was President as our embassies were attacked NINE TIMES, with dozens of US citizens killed?? Oh right, you didnt care then.
    John McCain, never met a war he didnt like, and never met one he could win.

    November 5, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. truth hurts

    CIA Timeline Confirms: Woods and Doherty Killed in Benghazi 7Hrs After WH Told of Attack; Commercial Airliner Can Fly From London to Libya and Back in That Time
    Even worse.... military units and aircraft were a few hours away in Italy. Yet they never left the ground.

    But Obama had a restful night's sleep so he could be well rested for his Las Vegas campaign fund rasier the next day.

    That 3am phone call DID come and as it turns out BOTH Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were NOT up to the task. At least Hillary was man enough to accept responsibility. Obama has not. It is clear the Democrats put the wrong person in the Whitehouse in 2008.

    November 5, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. Buckeye

    This vet remember who is in support of the Vets Jobs Bill and who isn't.
    Try again McCain.

    November 5, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. DumbasRocks [R]s

    Grandpa McCain, the last loser that the [R] party tried to foist on America, also thinks that a brigade of flying monkees will take wing from his butt to go vote in FLA, and then fly up to OH to vote again.

    [R]s are LOSERS again. Stop by here tomorrow nite, and we'll all confirm my prediction, and then listen to the deluded as they give us all the excuses of why [R]s are LOSERS yet again!

    November 5, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Buckeye

    And I also remember my brothers that are currently in combat are part of the 47%. No way Willard is fit to be CIC since he doesn't care about troops. GOP: long on talk about patriotism, woefully short when rubber meets road. Phonies!

    November 5, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. Robert in LA

    Obama is bringing the troops home. His administration never failed to support combatants. There was big confusion in the Arab World at the time of the Benghazi incident, and iONE embassy attacked by terrorists at the same time that demonstrations were going on in other places. Yes, we mourn the deaths but can you imply that for this single act Obama and Clinton abandoned people is a stretch of imagination.
    Let us be serious with these important issues for our country.

    November 5, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. DENNA

    I am so glad that you did not win the election four years ago. With your love of war, who knows how many enemies, real and/or imagined we would have attacked. YOU will NEVER be president. Let it go. Considering the crap he has had to put up with, President Obama has done a great job of leading this country back to prosperity. I can only imagine how much better off we would be if he had had the cooperation of those lazy idiots in Congress.

    November 5, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. Al

    Where was Bush when our troops were getting killed in Iraq and Afghanistan? Vacationing in his Texas ranch. McCain should just retire from politics and take up a job greeting customers at Walmart.

    November 5, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  21. Buckeye

    John McCain. The man that could've picked Willard in 2008 for VP, and concluded that Sarah Plain yup plain, was a better choice.

    November 5, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. Observing From A Distance

    People are killed everyday by these lunatic Muslims....I hate to say it but Stevens and his people knew the dangers in Benghazi.....they should have stayed in Tripoli.....but it is not safe there's a flash for McCain and all the Repugnicans including Hannity and that fool Palin......THE ARABS WANT YOU ALL DEAD...IT WILL NEVER remember that when the next victims are will never be safe are the infidel must all die....when a 12 yearold boy can drive an axe into the head of a soldier who just befriended him the picture becomes very clear....wake up

    November 5, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. Leviathan

    Those same "hordes of angry vets" all voted for McCain in 2008. How'd that turn out?

    November 5, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. Bob

    If McCain is right, it means that some voters are very gullible, since there has been absolutely nothing offered as to what the White House should have done differently. Well, nothing that makes any sense.

    November 5, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |

    Mccain you are a person that i used to admire. But enough is enough. American and iraqies died because of you war mongers. If robme wins 6 months after swearing in we will be at war. It time that we put you out to pasture. Forward obama / biden 2012.

    November 5, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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