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. xman51

    I`m a vet and I`m trying to figure out why Mccain would think as a vet I am angry over a diplomatic issue? As an American I do want to know how this happened and who dropped the ball on security. As a vet Obama has done more for vets than the previous president. I also will give him this in the 3rd debate he said the buck stops here even when Hillary tried to take the responsibilty for it. You think Romeny would do that? NO! Where exactly are all these upset vets?

    November 5, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. tony

    I am a vet and i am not angry, this coming from a guy who voted against a bill that would help vets to further their education, vets like you i do not trust you are tooooooo political ,and hypocrital for me sen mccain

    November 5, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. Dave in SC

    I think veterans are also angry that Senate Republicans blocked their jobs bill.

    November 5, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. dog1

    How happy are Vets going to be when they start getting VOUCHERS for their Veterans benefits instead of checks and medical services. Romney/ryan are already planning to make sure they can cut back Veterans benefits to the absolute minimum they can get away with. They'll send Vets a voucher for five hundred bucks and tell them to shop around for adoctor that will take it. If it cost more just cash in some stocks like the people in the romney ryan world. And keep in mind when they start that profit generating war in Iran there are going to be tens of thousands more wounded Vets to be cared for. Of course none of them will be a romney or ryan family member or friend.

    November 5, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. luke,az

    Not true Sen. McCain. More vets are voting for President Obama because he gave the order to take out Osama bin Laden. President Obama deserves 4 more years for making this decision.

    November 5, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. Softship

    Are the vets angrier about Benghazi than 9/11?
    If George W and Rudy couldn't protect the WTC, how should Obama have been able to protect the Consulate in Libya?

    November 5, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. linda

    What about the Vets that are mad as hell at the Republicans for not passing the Veterrans Job Bill......yeah the GOP will give our vets fake praise for their service but when they come home and are in need of Jobs, they say YOUR ON YOUR OWN.......this is just more fear and scare tactics from the Party that has nothing else to offer this country......OBAMA 2012....this country is coming out of our recession, it is slow but at less it is improving.....and not any other President Democrat or Republican could have made it grow any I will stay with what is working instead of voting for a man who has changed his mind on every issue, who hasn't even told us where he is going to make these cuts to pay for his bill, and I diffinately don't want Romney in office with his hand next to the RED BUTTON or getting that 3AM phone call........

    November 5, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. Sick of it

    This story is complete BS. McCain doesn't know what he's talking about. STILL.

    November 5, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  9. Anne

    no matter how you spin it, Benghazi is a problem for Obama administration. The One is talking about Trust.. you know me, trust me, I am with you, hope and change we can believe in, yes we can, forward comrades. Thanks, but no thanks.

    November 5, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. Softship

    Are the vets angrier about Benghazi than 9/11?

    November 5, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. An Observer

    Old Songbird needs to shut up and resign from the Senate. This old scoundrel has completely lost it!

    November 5, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  12. JustMe

    And what they trust Romney, the guy who didn't even think they were important enough to mention in his Convention Speech?

    November 5, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. Ed

    Three tours to the Middle East under my belt, and I'll take Obama as CIC.
    Thanks for the service John, but it's time to retire.

    November 5, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. KC Yankee

    Sentator McCain is hoping to stir people up with this rehash of a non-story made primarily of lies. Former Governor Romney is toast. He's just going through the motions until he can shuffle off the national stage, and let us all hope it is for good this time.

    November 5, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. catwill

    SEN McCain
    is still smarting about his loss to the Barack and will use even this tragic event to dinigrate the President.

    November 5, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. Keri

    I guess McCain forgets that Obama signed into law the largest increase in funding for the Dept. of VA in the last 30 years and tax credits that encourage employers to hire veterans. There isn't much that is more pathetic than a bitter has-been who has stayed too long at the party. Go away, McCain.

    November 5, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  17. philtration

    McCain is just a bitter old man schilling for FOX and the GOP.

    November 5, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  18. Joesnopy

    The GOP should be ashame to try to win Flordia on the death of 4 Americans. This is all about winning Flordia for Romney. You will not hear anything more about this after the election. Come on people how stupid are we getting. They are complaining about not having the facts a week or so what about having the facts about WMD or what about Pat Tillman, the medicare drug law passed by the Bush White House. McCain knows all the facts people why want he stop lying and just tell what he knows. Plus the GOP nuts in the house made every last document out so if you nuts have not found anything by now it is a lie.

    November 5, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  19. Critical Thinking

    Vets and anyone with a brain should be outraged by this adminstrations actions and reaction to this attack. Obama puts politics ahead of everything and anything. He will eventually go down in History as America's WORST President.

    American's, well at least the majority of Americans are not stupid enough to re-elect this imposter. I still don't know why anyone with even a half of a brain would vote for this man. He is an embarrasment to this country.

    Shameful Mr. President, shame on you.

    November 5, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  20. EDDIE

    Well that's amazing how the vet's know what went on over there and we still haven't gotten all the facts.It's an ongoing investiagtion.I think it's time for a spot of tea for McCain.

    November 5, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. kearnyfl

    mr Mcain is vintage!!!! It's time for him to retire.

    November 5, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  22. Milton Wiah

    Let McCain tell us , if it was not demonstration as evidenced in other Arab countries that caused the problem in
    Libya on September 12, 2012. I know how the Republicans blamed Bush having received reports that attack
    was imminent in the US and he was in his Ranch in Taxes while 3000 Americans were killed.

    November 5, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  23. bill

    This coming from a man whose party would call up young men and women to lose their lives for a republican fancy for power and show, then cut back their medical and financial needs once they come home physically and mentally broken from the results of war.

    November 5, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  24. RAWoD

    Senator McCain - nobody cares what you think. Remember you gave the GOP Sarah Palin and we will not EVER forgive you for that choice.

    November 5, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  25. truth hurts

    Clinton DENIED security, Americans DIED as a result, Obama now LIES to the American people.

    That is in a nutshell the incompetence of the Obama adminstration that got 4 Americans needlessly killed. All while our military was not allowed to help them, even though they could have. Obama is a disgrace to this country. The country and our military deserve a REAL Caommander in Chief. Not one that flies off to a campaign fund raising event while Americans are being murdered and attacked live on the phone and via drone video. The cover up of this fiasco dwarfs Watergate. Nobody died there. But here, as with Fast & Furious, Americans DIED because of the incompetence of the Obama adminstration.

    November 5, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
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