November 5th, 2012
08:09 PM ET
10 years ago

Gibbs: McCain's assessment of veterans support for Obama 'shameful'

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain's comments that veterans do not trust President Barack Obama in the wake of the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, are "shameful," Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" on Monday.

"Obviously people have a lot of respect for somebody like John McCain but for somebody like that to go out there and say that people in the military don't trust the commander-in-chief, that's one of the more shameful comments I've heard in more than 20 years of being in politics," he said.

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"I don't for one minute believe it and I think it's an awful thing to say even when your candidate is behind in a political campaign," Gibbs continued.

On CNN's "Starting Point" earlier in the day, McCain - the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, a prominent veteran and a former prisoner of war - said there was a mistrust of Obama among veterans following the September 11 terror attack in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

"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," McCain said.

McCain has been highly critical of the Obama administration's handling and explanation of the assault by armed militants, which officials originally said involved a protest gone awry outside the diplomatic post.

Conservatives have said the story of a demonstration over an anti-Islam film was used to divert attention from the compound's security, which they say was lacking, and the response, which they say was bungled.

"This cover up is the worst that I've ever seen, either incompetence or cover up. There was no demonstration," McCain said.

To counter McCain's charge of anger among veterans, Gibbs touted Obama's efforts.

"I think veterans know that when this president came into office, he made sure that the veterans of this country who had earned their benefits on the battlefields of war in foreign countries would be treated like they should when they got home," he said. "That's the commitment that Barack Obama has fulfilled."

- CNN's Dana Davidsen, Heather Butler and Susie Xu contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • John McCain • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Rogue351

    The way McCain has milked his poor judgment that ended with his capture and then turned into giving this ego centric validation for speaking like this to other vets. Vets that actually had America on their mind apposed to there own ego is pathetic. History will reflect what kind of man McCain was and is. History will not be kind of him. But you believe him just because what he says. Read his history actions speak louder than words.

    November 6, 2012 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  2. Harkers

    Funny CNN poll came out this morning showing Romney leading with independents by 22% yet tied with Obama's with 49%. This didn't make sense until I saw that they had a 11% democrat polling advantage. Tonight I saw on CNN they were talking about a 3-4 independent Romney lead in a Pew poll while ignoring their poll. I couldn't even find the 22% article on the Internet latter. It disappeared. Another left coverup of a failed presidency !!! This thing is over and they we aren't allowed to know it yet. Turn out the Dem lights your parties over.

    November 6, 2012 03:54 am at 3:54 am |
  3. bassman

    One thing we do know, Pres. Obama contradicted himself. In a 60 Minutes interview Pres. Obama would not say whether he thought the attack was terrorism. Yet he would later emphasize at a presidential debate that in the Rose Garden the same day, he had declared the attack an act of terror.

    November 6, 2012 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  4. Indy

    You just have to take the source in what McCain said, and he is the one that thought Sarah Palin could step in and be President so his judgement is lacking nd he is still hurting from his loss to "That One"

    November 6, 2012 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  5. Squigman

    That anyone, living or dead would listen to McCain is shameful.

    November 6, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  6. onlyfacts

    If there is a mistrust, Fox "news" and stupidity is to blame!

    November 6, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  7. Joanne Gimlin

    McCain's statement about the President was as close to treason as you can get. He needs to hang up his spurs and the Media needs to stop interviewing him I myself never want to hear anything from him again.

    November 6, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
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