Primary challenger Dr. Kelli Ward called out incumbent Republican Sen. John McCain following his fumbled criticism of President Barack Obama’s role in the rise of Islamic terror group ISIS.
It is McCain’s foreign policy that is “directly responsible,” Ward said, for facilitating the rise of “ruthless” Islamic terrorism.
Ward issued the following statement in response to McCain’s Thursday comments:
As we got used to during his 2008 presidential campaign, John McCain has once again thrown a punch at Barack Obama and immediately apologized for it, bowing to lick the boots of the political correctness police- Not surprising for the ultimate establishment insider.
I, however, am not afraid to place the blame right where it belongs: John McCain is “directly responsible” for the rise of ISIS. Without his dangerously distracted foreign policy, we would not have this ruthless Islamic extremist organization that crucifies children, systematically rapes women, oppresses Christians, and throws homosexuals off rooftops.
Libya and Iraq would not be the “Harvard of terrorism” they are now if it were not for his knee-jerk, trigger-happy foreign policy of promiscuously arming the supposedly moderate militants he says he is “intimate with” and overthrowing stable, albeit unsavory regimes. He even wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years and joked about risking military lives to “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.” Even George W. Bush and Tony Blair have admitted that the 2003 invasion of Iraq created a vacuum which allowed jihadist ideologies to flourish. Our open border has given those emboldened elements access to our country and our citizens. McCain has been complicit in all of it.
The reason John is currently losing a reliably red state to a rubber stamp Obama Democrat is because he is dangerously distracted with his “Invade the World, Invite the World” agenda. John has proposed bombing, invading, or attacking at least thirteen countries in recent years, and in addition to his support for open borders and amnesty, he also wants to dump thousands of unvetted refugees into our streets and give them welfare to boot.
John McCain claims that I voted against funding the troops and that I have a weak record on national security. Any 5th grader understands that state legislators don’t vote on national security legislation.
As a military wife of a husband who has been deployed overseas, I will support military engagement only as a last resort, only when Constitutionally approved by Congress, and only when there is a clear strategy for victory, not endless occupations and expensive nation-building. Yes, John McCain is “directly responsible” for the rise of ISIS.
The exchange began when McCain, according to the Associated Press, appeared angry as he told reporters during Thursday’s debate over the Senate spending bill that Obama is “directly responsible” for the rise of Islamic terror group ISIS.
“Barack Obama is directly responsible for it, because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaida went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures, utter failures, by pulling everybody out of Iraq,” said McCain according to the AP. “So the responsibility for it lies with President Barack Obama and his failed policies.”
The increasingly unpopular five-term U.S. Senator from Arizona made the comments in light of Sunday’s Islamic terror attack on an Orlando gay nightclub. The attack left 49 victims dead and another more than 50 injured. The mass murderer pledged allegiance to ISIS in the midst of the attack and ISIS later claimed credit for the attack.
Within hours of McCain’s first comment the senior senator — now facing a struggling re-election campaign — attempted to mitigate the backlash for his prior comments.
The AP quoted a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) who called McCain’s comments “unhinged” and cited them as “proof” that McCain is a puppet for GOP presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump.
He posted two tweets:
To clarify, I was referring to Pres Obama’s national security decisions that have led to rise of #ISIL, not to the President himself
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) June 16, 2016
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
He also quickly issued a statement, referenced in one of the tweets, in which he said:
I misspoke. I did not mean to imply that the President was personally responsible. I was referring to President Obama’s national security decisions, not the President himself. As I have said, President Obama’s decision to completely withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011 led to the rise of ISIL. I and others have long warned that the failure of the President’s policy to deny ISIL safe haven would allow the terrorist organization to inspire, plan, direct or conduct attacks on the United States and Europe as they have done in Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino and now Orlando.
McCain’s home-state support is weak, according to polls. A June Public Policy Polling survey of 750 Republican, Democrat, and Independent Arizona voters put a potential Democratic Party contender for the U.S. Senate from Arizona ahead of incumbent McCain 43 to 41 according to KNAU Arizona public radio.
McCain is also tied with Republican challenger Ward 41-41 in a head-to-head matchup with the former Arizona State Senator, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released in May.
Trump drew attention to Democratic presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for a 2012 memo that indicated the Obama administration was actively providing support to Al Qaeda in Iraq and it’s eventual part in Islamic terror group ISIS.
McCain has been locked in a war of words with Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump over the course of the 2016 campaign season. He has said that he would support the Republican nominee despite lackluster words for Trump as the nominee in May.
In 2014 McCain was censured by members of his own party in Arizona for excessive liberal voting. In May 2015 McCain was rebuked by the American Conservative Union (ACU) which has recorded the long-running Republican’s record of moving toward a more conservative posture in re-election years.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana