Senators see opportunity in Egypt
January 30th, 2011
11:19 AM ET
12 years ago

Senators see opportunity in Egypt

Washington (CNN) - Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain said Sunday that Egypt has an opening for democratic leadership amid the chaos of the ongoing protests.

"All of these rights that individuals have are not confined to the United States of the America and our allies," McCain said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I still think that we have a real opportunity to see a democratic transition."

McCain, who serves as the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak knows what's going on in his own country, and that it is up to the United States to be a "helpful, assisting but insisting partner" to the country.

Anti-government demonstrations started Tuesday throughout Egypt demanding an end Mubarak's 30-year rule. Egyptians are protesting high unemployment, government corruption and poverty in the country.

"We cannot afford a Tiananmen Square in Cairo," McCain told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, in reference to the 1989 pro-democracy movement that was crushed in China.

President Obama needs to "lay out a scenario of what we think the Egyptian people should have every right to expect," he said.

Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said the army's involvement on the ground in Egypt is a positive sign.

"My hope is that Egyptian politics - which has tended to be secular, certainly wanting more rights and deserving more rights, both economic and political - takes root in that country now and maybe we're at the time where it can," Schumer said.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Charles Schumer • Egypt • John McCain • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    We are fortunate that Bush is no longer in charge. At least McCain did not say, "Bomb, bomb, bomb, Cairo," so maybe John is growing up a little.

    January 30, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. molinewolf

    why is anyone thinking that Mccain is relavent any more. He is senile and made himself nongrata everywhere with his introduction of sarah Palin to the world.

    January 30, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Spending our Way to the Scrap Heap of History

    Hopefully Obama doesn't screw this one up like he did the Iranian protests. He hung them out to dry big time and many people paid with their lives.

    January 30, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. Tony in Maine

    McCain isn't senile, but he's walking a tightrope like all Republicans. On one side are the Tea Partiers ready to take down anyone they consider not 100% pure arch conservative. On the other he has his usual base made up of moderate/conservative voters considered by the Tea Party as Communist Marxist Fascist Socialists – oh wait – strike that last one, it is reserved for Obama.

    That said, John McCain needs to realize that being posted overseas and getting shot down might win points with some, but it doesn't make you an expert on the Middle East.

    January 30, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    What's happening in Egypt has nothing to do with the U.S. and thank God McCain isn't President. The only opportunity McCain is looking for is an opportunity to throw a stone at President Obama when this is about Egypt and we don't need a "war of words" about from McCain or anyone else in this U.S.

    January 30, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. vic nashville tn

    I lost confidence on Mc Cain 2010. Our foreign policy remain same whether Republicans or Democrats in the power except going to war.
    “President Obama needs to "lay out a scenario of what we think the Egyptian people should have every right to expect," he said.”
    No let Egyptian people decide what they want. Once they formed government we can deal with them

    January 30, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. a in austin

    Hopefully this will open the eyes of our elected officials – this could be happening here in the US soon if the elected officials keep placing the debt burden on the backs of everyday folks. To continue to allow those in the top 2% as well as corporations tax cuts and benefits and ignore the other 98% is plain psycho. At some point, the bottom 98% will say enough is enough.

    January 30, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    @ spending . . . : many innocent Iraqi civilians (over 100,000 by most estimates) also paid with their lives, for the Bush unnecessary war in Iraq, and that does not include our own 4500 military deaths. That is an example of Bush incompetence and arrogance to its fullest.

    January 30, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. informed voter

    I thank God (and the smart voters in our country) everyday, that McCain lost his bid for the Whitehouse. Can you imagine the condition this country would be in if he and his poor choice for a running mate were calling the shots?

    January 30, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. OneMoreTime

    Elsewhere, and I almost fell out of my chair, McConnell said he had NO complaints about how the Admininstration is
    handling the crises in Egypt and that he thought we should all speak with one voice at this time. Can you believe
    it? Puts Thaddeus whoever in his place, big time.

    January 30, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  11. Altasbarfed

    Democracy in action, yet the far right is rooting for Mubarek, including Bush's former UN Ambassador John Bolton.

    McCain? You are witnessing a living asterisk, next to a footnote in American history.

    January 30, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. w l jones

    We need to look at the situation through the eyes of a lawyer, say what we wont, mean what we say without ailinate either side. The Egyptian people know what they gave us and the rest of the civilize world. Show us we still can solve our different amonst ours self in a civil way I believe they know history is on there side and this administration I believe will help in any way they can.

    January 30, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. Not the Policeman of the World

    Once again America is turning its back on the allies we cultivate throughout the world. Not that I agree with the President of Egypt. We have to stop trying to turn the world into the US. These people were brought up with different values. Leave them alone and let each people decide what best for themself's.

    January 30, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  14. addon

    @ Spending.....

    You need to spend sometime in a civics class. Iran, being a theocracy (if you know what that means), was put on notice. But telling a sovereign muslim nation, how to hold national elections, would have been complete lunacy and gotten alot of innocent people killed. Aside from bombing them to oblivion, and starting WWIII, the US could not put enough boots on the ground to overthrow the government and President Obama knew that, as well as, everyone else in the world. Unfortunately that bit of trivia, might have not come to your attention. My mother said it best, "Do write tickets with your mouth, that your rearend can't cash".

    So give President Obama credit. In the future, try thinking pragmatically, as oppossed to being all things negative against Obama. Whether you know it or not, our President is doing an excellent job cleaning up the mess he inherited.

    January 30, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    the way many on the right feel about Muslims and Arabs has a whole, I'm sure they can care less about what happens over there in Egypt. In fact I would bet that if Obama does take some sort of stand on the situation he is going to open the door once again for the Tea Party and Sarah Palin fans to call him a Muslim sympathizer. And they don't care at all about facts,,,it's just such labels they use to keep their looney base all fired up.

    January 30, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. John G

    America should stay out of it and that includes the $1.3 billion a year we give Egypt now.

    January 30, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. John G

    Isn't anyone upset about at least part of that going to their military that are now standing against the people of Egypt?

    January 30, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. Darth Vadik, CA

    How about this:


    Now there is an idea, every single time we have interfered we've made things worse, so let's stay out and let Egyptians deal with their own problems in the way THEY see fit.

    January 30, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. patcee

    Why are other countries sending in planes for their citizens to leave Egypt and Americans have to go through a big bureaucratic mess, filling in forms for loans to be paid back, etc., and get their own flights???

    January 30, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |