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. Anonymous

    I do not trust him.

    November 5, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  2. Jose Jemanes

    McCain is and continues to be a sore loser!!

    November 5, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  3. Not Chicken Little

    The best thing for our military, and our Country, will be tomorrow when Obama loses. They and I will celebrate.

    November 5, 2012 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  4. works4me

    I know this of McCain... he's no hero. Never has been... never will be. Check his real military service.
    Face it McCain... your pick of Palin convinced me that there was more than meets the eye, with you.
    And I WAS a Republican... then!

    November 5, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  5. NewsWatch

    That's insane, instead of coming together to fight the enemies, we acusing each other. How come McCain didn't tell veterans to stop trusting George Bush when terrorists attacked on 9/11.

    November 5, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  6. MrsW

    When is McCain retiring?

    November 5, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  7. megapotamus

    It is Obama's dereliction of duty that is shameful. As usual, take whatever an O-bot says, invert it and you have the perfect truth.

    November 5, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  8. Valinva

    Guess what Mr Gibbs, this veteran doesn't trust Obama and I don;t trust you either.

    November 5, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  9. Common Sensus

    I think the time has come to stop giving John McCain a free pass for the mean and hateful things he says and does. People have privately complained for years about his nasty and vindictive behavior. He is a legitimate hero who has become little more than a mean-spirited, petty, spiteful little man. It's high time that he be called out as such.

    November 5, 2012 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  10. jmmjr49er

    Wow, Little Bobby Gibbs discussing shameful words by Senator John McCain is priceless. Little Bobby would have to look at his boss and hear "shameful" every day on the campaign. "Revenge!"

    November 5, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  11. nina

    what an awful shameful thing for John McCain to is he willing to look in the eyes of all the families of the veterans lost in iraq when he and his party lied about the WMD and tell them how sorry he is about lying to to the american people and sorry that their children lost their lives or were injured for a war that shouldn't of been?

    November 5, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  12. aflygirl2

    May be shameful but truthful nonetheless.

    November 5, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  13. pcalif

    Too many people have been giving McCain a free ride for far far too long. The media always hangs back because he was a war hero. Guess what that was 45 years or more ago. McCain is an old hate filled man who has become a flak-face for the radical right.

    November 5, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  14. Jeffrey

    Romney running to France to avoid the draft is just as bad!

    November 5, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  15. Ex-GOP Con

    I used to respect John McCain but lately he's become the party puppet and partisan. Such a sore loser.

    November 5, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  16. Flagship, NC

    McCain needs to get over his loss to President Obama. His comments are making him look like a typical Tea Party Freak!
    He is speaking as a child.

    November 5, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    I have a better feel for veterans than MCain does I help them and they know this guy Obama has been working his behind off for them and they won't forget.How can a guy be considered a war hero when he was captured he should be ashamed.The real war heros are the guys that died in the rice paddies and the jungles of Vietnam.My god stop listening to this guy who spent the war in the Hanoi Hilton

    November 5, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Veterans are a single monolithic group. I don't think that enough veterans are as angry as McCain thinks that they are.

    November 5, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  19. L. Cupo

    I am a veteran and ashamed of President Obama.
    I hope to celebrate President Romney tomorrow.

    November 5, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  20. bill pike

    and obama served his country when????? and you gibbs are no hero so you have no idea how us vets think - at my older age i would have gotten on a plane and tried to save our boys if asked-what do you call it when you don't even try? and what should be done with the cover up??? all Nixon did was lie for his troops-this is 4 times worse

    November 5, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  21. CryBabies whiney,sniveling juvenile. You were worthless as the Presidents press secretary. Now , you're still worthless outside the job.

    November 5, 2012 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  22. angie

    Wake up gop mitt lies about everything just to get a vote...shame on him..he'll have to answer to GOD!

    November 6, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  23. Corday dArmont Corday_dArmont

    The truth hurts.

    November 6, 2012 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  24. CraigRB

    McCain is still upset that he lost to Obama and that explains his constant negativity he expresses toward the President.

    November 6, 2012 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  25. grumpygus

    Much respect to Senator John McCain, a principled individual who has gone above and beyond to serve his country. However, he does not speak for me, let alone all veterans. I trust President Obama.

    November 6, 2012 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
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