Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) Thursday said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was a “very deep disappointment” to him, saying his habit of attacking opponents like McCain has caused Carney to disgrace himself.
McCain said Carney ought to “grow a beard” so he wouldn’t be able to see himself in the mirror.
They attacked me and they have been doing so. If you can’t attack the message and refute the message, then attack the messenger and that’s what they have been doing. And Mr. Carney has really been a very deep disappointment to me. I knew him when he was a journalist. And I think he ought to grow a beard because I’m not sure he should look at himself in the mirror in the morning.
McCain, who spoke to Brian Kilmeade of Fox News in an interview for Kilmeade’s radio show, may be responding to this particular attack, in which Carney mocked McCain for choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate.
As a reporter, Carney covered Congress for years, and probably got to know McCain extremely well, courting and cozying up to the powerful Senator as any reporter would.
Reporters who cover Capitol Hill have wide access to the buildings, roaming the halls and conducting ad hoc interviews with lawmakers they find strolling to the floor to vote or walking between meetings. McCain has long been one of the most accessible of those lawmakers, frequently stopping to chat with reporters.
That Carney would now attack McCain is a prime example of how people in Washington casually shift friends and allegiances as they change roles.
In the interview with Kilmeade, a video of which appears below, McCain also evinced contempt for Carney’s boss, referring to Obama repeatedly as “this guy” and characterizing him as “someone who has no respect for the truth.”
McCain offered a glimpse of how his foreign policy would have been different from Obama’s, suggesting Obama didn’t understand Islamists and had withdrawn too completely from Iraq.
Himself a war hero, McCain appeared stupified that Obama and his advisers couldn’t immediately recognize that the attack on the consulate in Bengahzi was a pre-planned, military assault.
Here’s the problem with these people: They were either intent on deceiving the American people, or they’re so naive they don’t understand the fundamentals of what happened. It was an attack with mortars and heavy weapons and rocket propelled grenades. And so somehow to think that that was just a spontaneous demonstration . . .
McCain expressed amazement at the lack of media outrage about the failure to understand the attack, attributing it to liberal bias.
The media coverage has been hard to believe. Suppose that Bush – there had been an attack – and President Bush and his secretary of state said, “Well this is a spontaneous demonstration,” and it turned out to be a planned attack. The media would be outraged all over America.
Here’s the full video of the interview.
H/T to Dylan Byers at Politico.