What terrible lengths people go to when they want to keep their political seats. Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who is up for a rough re-election race, said Thursday that President Barack Obama is “directly responsible” for the Orlando mass shooting at a gay nightclub.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) June 14, 2016
McCain may have an ax to grind with President Obama, because he lost to then Senator Obama in the 2008 presidential election. That was when McCain brought former Alaska governor Sarah Palin into the political spotlight as his vice president choice.
The six-term senator from Arizona blamed the president for the horrible massacre when he spoke to reporters, just as the president arrived to console the families of the shooting victims and some survivors in Orlando. The gunman killed 49 people and injured 53 in the attack.
McCain blamed President Obama for allowing the Islamic State to develop and grow on his watch, according to the Associated Press.
A 29-year-old Muslim the shooter was born in Queens, New York and identified with the Islamic State, according to coworkers. But the man also claimed an affiliation with al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, despite the fact that both groups are IS enemies.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is also blaming President Obama, accusing him of preferring U.S. enemies over American citizens. Trump accused President Obama of scheming with a radicalized Muslim terrorist.
He suggests the president is a “radical element sympathizer,” and Trump says the president and terrorists are “sweethearts.” The billionaire used this opportunity to tie his off-the-wall conspiracy theories together:
‘He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands – It’s one or the other and either one is unacceptable.’’
I thought people weren’t celebrating? They were cheering all over, even this savage from Orlando. I was right. https://t.co/DrVa65X9rI
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2016
The Democrats are taking full advantage of Trump’s remarks to criticize him, and even a growing number of Republicans are trying to create more distance between themselves and the presidential candidate’s untoward remarks.
When McCain made his harsh remark about the president, Democrats quickly pounced on him. Spokesman for Senate Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, Adam Jentleson, said McCain’s:
‘…Unhinged comments are just the latest proof that Senate Republicans are puppets of Donald Trump.’
Later, McCain tried to walk back his comments, but once they are out of the box, they are hard to return.
I misspoke. I did not mean to imply that the President was personally responsible – my full stmt: https://t.co/IhDSefwIzM
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) June 16, 2016
H/T: Associate Press.