McCain Goes Off When a Reporter Asks Why He Skipped a Hearing on Benghazi to Hold a News Conference to Complain about Lack of Info on Benghazi (Transcript)

McCain to reporter: I have the right as a senator to have no comment. Who the hell are you to tell me whether I can or not?!

On Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., Sen. John McCain of Arizona and his two top lieutenants in the Senate’s Obama Derangement Caucus, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire (who has replaced Sen. Joe Lieberman, now retired, in the caucus) held a news conference in which they demanded the convening of a Watergate-style select committee to investigate the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi earlier this year in which the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three presumed CIA agents were killed.

“I’m not gonna comment on how I spend my time in the Senate.”
– McCain to reporter

According to the Associated Press, “The three Republican senators argued that numerous questions about the attack remain unanswered, among them what Obama’s national security team had told him about security in Libya, what steps were taken by Clinton and the roll [sic] of the U.S. military.”

But at the same time McCain was promoting Fox News-driven conspiracies about Benghazi to reporters in one part of the Capitol, he was supposed to be participating in a hearing on the attacks by the administration before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that was underway in another room in the building. McCain is a senior member of the committee.

In fact, according to CNN, only three of the eight Republican members of the committee bothered to attend the investigative hearing.

When a CNN producer queried McCain on Thursday about his decision to skip the hearing on Wednesday in order to hold a news conference, McCain went off.

Rough transcript:

TED BARRETT, CNN PRODUCER: I understand that you did miss this briefing yesterday…

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I’m not … No more comment.. I have no more commment.

CNN: I’m not sure… (Cross talk.)

MCCAIN: … My schedule, and I’m not gonna comment on how I spend my time in the Senate.

CNN: I mean, is there a …?

MCCAIN: I will not comment. I have no further comment..

CNN: Is there a legitimate reason…?

MCCAIN: I have no further comment. I have no further comment.

CNN: (Garbled.)

MCCAIN: How many times do I have to tell you? I have no further comment.

CNN: Why can’t you comment on that?

MCCAIN: Why can’t I?! Because I have the right as a senator to have no comment. Who the hell are you to tell me whether I can or not?!

CNN: I’m a reporter, and I’m asking you a question.

MCCAIN: That’s fine, and I’m giving you an answer. For the tenth time… Get away from me, please.

CNN: Did you make a mistake by not attending that … You’re very mad about it, you must admit.

MCCAIN: I have no comment and I’m angry at you because …

CNN: (Garbled.)

MCCAIN: Why should I not … why can I not have a comment?

CNN: Because you missed an important briefing on a subject you are intensely upset about.

MCCAIN: I have no comment — I’m not upset. I’m upset that you keep badgering me.

CNN: You want a select committee. You want all of this…

MCCAIN: I want you to stop badgering me.

CNN: I’m not badgering you. I’m just asking you…

MCCAIN: I’ll start …

CNN: I’m just asking you a legitimate question.

MCCAIN: We’re going to start recording, okay? Along with you. Okay. I’ll record this just as you will and then we’ll let people decide whether you were badger me or not.

CNN: I’m not trying to go down this road with you.

MCCAIN: I have said that I have no comment.

CNN: I’m just trying to ask you a legitimate question.

MCCAIN: And I’m giving you an answer — that is that I have no comment.

CNN: …That’s part of my job. Just like you’re pressing for answers on the whole Benghazi thing.

MCCAIN: You wanted an answer, sir. And I gave you an answer. That I have no comment. And that is my right to do. And for you to continue to ask me the same question over and over again is not appropriate behavior. Okay? Thank you.

This incident is yet more proof that John McCain knows the Obama White House was not culpable in the deaths of U.S. personnel in Benghazi. He is using this Fox News charade to attack Pres. Obama for no reason other than personal pique over losing the 2008 elections. And this scheduling snafu, which exposes his rank hypocrisy on this issue, may be a sign that after 25 years in the Senate and at age 76, he is starting to lose his political skill.


  • November 17, 2012 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure who was the more odious person on the McCain-Palin ticket.

  • November 19, 2012 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    It appears that for some time, Old Chipmunk Cheeks has been unable to make much sense on issues involving the white house. I think the hate has been there all along under the surface, and it is now showing its ugly fangs. I used to listen to a few Republicans like Michael Steele and John McCain, but I think I must stop listening to McCain for now.

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