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January 04, 2012 4:50 PM Can McCain define ‘destroy’?

By Steve Benen

As we talked about earlier, John McCain probably didn’t want to endorse Mitt Romney today, but he did. Was this largely a matter of party loyalty and the Republican establishment rallying behind their guy? Probably, though there are a couple of related angles to consider.

For one thing, as much as McCain dislikes Romney, he dislikes Rick Santorum more. For another, as much as McCain dislikes Romney and Santorum, he hates President Obama with the heat of a thousand suns.

McCain took the microphone and delivered a full-throated rebuke to Obama: “My friends, our message to President Barack Obama is you can run, but you can’t hide from your record of making this country bankrupt, from destroying our national security and for making this nation one that we have to restore with Mitt Romney as president of the United States of America.”

That struck me as a curious indictment, especially for a prepared speech.

The country is “bankrupt”? What does that even mean? We have the world’s largest economy; we pay our debts; and the world is still eager to loan us an enormous amount of money at extremely low interest rates. Is McCain just throwing around words again without understanding them?

But even more interesting is the notion that the president is “destroying our national security.” Now, I can understand why Obama’s liberal detractors criticize the administration’s policies when it comes to the national security state, prosecution of wars, detainees, etc. But from McCain’s perspective, what is it, exactly, that the senator finds worthy of whining?

Concerns surrounding civil liberties notwithstanding, the president and his team can take credit for killing Osama bin Laden, decimating al Qaeda, helping bring down the Gadhafi regime in Libya (a guy McCain literally used to bow to), and preventing many terrorist plots.

Maybe McCain would take issue with some of the developments, maybe not. But either way, in what universe is the president “destroying our national security”?

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.

Comments

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  • Caffiend on January 04, 2012 4:54 PM:

    He ought to be able to define it. It's what Wetstart Johnny did to five planes and tried to do to an entire aircraft carrier.

  • Daniel Buck on January 04, 2012 4:56 PM:

    Hmm, based on the 2008 election results, I'd say McCain can neither run nor hide.

    Obama found him & outran him.

    Dan

  • John Dillinger on January 04, 2012 4:58 PM:

    Someone needs to tell McCain to swim down and ask Bin Laden to list his preference for U.S. Presidents among Obama, Bush and John "I won't go into Pakistan after him" McCain.

  • k l m on January 04, 2012 4:58 PM:

    And get off my lawn you darned whippersnappers!!!

  • rea on January 04, 2012 5:00 PM:

    McCain thinks we shouldn't have withdrawn from Iraq.

  • DAY on January 04, 2012 5:00 PM:

    Earlier, I watched (MSNBC) Obama, live in Ohio, and split screen- no audio- McNasty endorsing Romney.

    He was all but foaming at the mouth! Man's one step away from an aneurysm.
    He's ready for the Men in White, with the butterfly net!

  • Taylor on January 04, 2012 5:01 PM:

    My first reading of McCain's comment falls more in line with his previous feelings towards Romney. Granted, we are playing a game of semantics here, but reread what McCain actually said.

    "...but you can’t hide from your record of making this country bankrupt, from destroying our national security and for making this nation one that we have to restore with Mitt Romney as president of the United States of America.”

    At first blush, it sounded an awful lot like McCain is saying it's Obama's fault we'll have to elect Mitt Romney.

  • gus on January 04, 2012 5:03 PM:

    “the heat of a thousand suns”

    Well put.

    McCain....Call Me Cynical but he goes where the money and influence go, or where it will take him. Obviously, Romney has the best shot, in McCain’s viewpoint. Just like Bush had the best shot in 2004. So, he puts his stamp of approval on The Choice republican people who respect McCain need to make.

    As for The Choice everyone else needs to make, well dang it, what do you not understand, simpletons? John McCain made up your mind for you.

    It is all about R-Money, baby! Because R-Money spelled any other way is Romney.

    Seriously, McCain’s maxim once he entered the world of politics seems to be:

    the enemy of my enemy is the man I will sleep with. So he just says and does whatever it takes to stay somewhat relevant, sort of respected and kind of powerful.

  • Big Ed on January 04, 2012 5:03 PM:

    Please excuse John McCain. He is a senile old man who wasn't kicked out of the Navy for crashing 5 airplanes because his father and grandfather were Admirals. Had be been relieved of duty, he wouldn't have been shot down in North Vietnam which is his major claim to fame. There are 4 graduates of Annapolis who can thank McCain for their Navy careers because they were kept in Annapolis so McCain wouldn't graduate as the "Anchor Man" (last place).

    He defines the term "person of privilege" and is a perfect example of the type of person who makes up a majority of the Republican party and votes to maintain their privileged status.

  • j on January 04, 2012 5:06 PM:

    Remember during the McCain/Obama campaign, McCain said that he was the only person who knew where Osama Bin Laden was, but he would not tell us.
    He also wants to Bomb Bomb Iran.
    He is also a sore loser who has not forgiven Obama for winning the election last time.

  • Nancy C. on January 04, 2012 5:07 PM:

    McCain is using the withdrawal from Iraq to beat on Obama about national security. That floor speech he made several weeks ago when it was announced was appalling in its viciousness.

  • CJColucci on January 04, 2012 5:09 PM:

    the president and his team can take credit for killing Osama bin Laden, decimating al Qaeda, helping bring down the Gadhafi regime in Libya (a guy McCain literally used to bow to), and preventing many terrorist plots.

    Obviously, Obama can't say it himself without making lots of white voters soil themselves, but I'm waiting for the black comics and rappers, and the people who take their cues from them, to start floating the idea (and the phrase) that Obama is the baddest motherf....r on the planet.

  • Ladyhawke on January 04, 2012 5:11 PM:

    There is a quote from the Todd Purdum Vanity Fair article (November 2010) entitled "The Man Who Never Was" that tells you all you need to know about how John McCain feels about President Obama. He may have disdain for Romney, but his deep hatred of President Obama is downright scary.


    McCAIN CAN’T STAND THE FACT THAT HE WAS BEATEN BY OBAMA. AT A RECENT MEETING, SAYS A WHITE HOUSE AIDE, “HE WOULD NOT LOOK AT THE PRESIDENT.”


    ====================================

    The Man Who Never Was

    Desperate to keep his Senate seat, John McCain repudiated his record, his principles, and even his maverick reputation, entrenching himself as the anti-Obama. Which raises the issue of whether the leader so many Americans admired—and so many journalists covered—ever truly existed.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2010/11/mccain-201011

  • internet tough guy on January 04, 2012 5:17 PM:

    >John McCain

    The Mr. Irrelevant of Republican politics.

  • Stephen Stralka on January 04, 2012 5:18 PM:

    I really don't know why any Republican who doesn't want Obama to be President anymore would ever mention his record on national security. I could be wrong, but I suspect that using "Obama" and "national security" in the same sentence is just going to remind them who got Bin Laden.

  • jonas on January 04, 2012 5:19 PM:

    But either way, in what universe is the president “destroying our national security”?

    Doing all that stuff (killing bin Laden, overthrowing Ghadaffi, etc.) while being a Democrat. That's basically it.

  • KurtRexCooper on January 04, 2012 5:23 PM:

    1) One über rich guy just endorsed another. So what.
    2) If the GOP runs on that platform they lose since each is easily refuted.
    3) What does Obama say when Romney says in a debate, "You're a nice guy, Mr President but you are over your head." How does he answer a bully tactic.

  • Rick Massimo on January 04, 2012 5:23 PM:

    But either way, in what universe is the president “destroying our national security”?

    In the universe where you can't just say "n!&&er" anymore.

  • Rick Massimo on January 04, 2012 5:26 PM:

    3) What does Obama say when Romney says in a debate, "You're a nice guy, Mr President but you are over your head." How does he answer a bully tactic.

    He laughs.

  • jjm on January 04, 2012 5:36 PM:

    Pathetic.

    One guy with so many homes he has lost count, the other with almost as many,scratching each other's backs... Ugly spectacle.

  • Quaker in a Basement on January 04, 2012 5:48 PM:

    Facts, shmacts. Who needs 'em? McCain can just say stuff. Who's going to call him on it?

    Now who's next for the tire swing?

  • kc on January 04, 2012 6:03 PM:

    McCain has no honor.

  • Jack Dalton on January 04, 2012 6:17 PM:

    I would say that, notwithstanding McCain's hatred of President Obama, along with his embarrassment of being beaten in the election, and sealing his own fate by selecting Princess Sarah as his running mate, this pretty much sums up what this is all about:

    "Is McCain just throwing around words again without understanding them?"

    Yes.

  • rick on January 04, 2012 7:20 PM:

    was mcshameless wearing leather hot pants, spiked heels, fishnet stockings, and a red wig when he made the endorsement?

  • TCinLA on January 04, 2012 7:21 PM:

    Poor little "Wet-Start Johnny" (his "joke" killed 215 of his fellow sailors on the USS Forrestal in 1967) - every time he opens his mouth, he proves the truth of the old saying "the first generation makes it, the second generation keeps it and the third generation loses it."

    Johnny hasn't known what he was talking about since he was at the bottom of his plebe class at Annapolis, and it's been the same thing ever since. He's failed at everything he's ever tried, wouldn't have made it past LCDR to have a "career" in the Navy if he hadn't been shot down and put on the "automatic POW promotions" list, failed at his first post-POW assignment, quit the Navy when he found he wouldn't be the third Admiral McCain, made it into politics as an adulterer with a younger woman who financed his career...

    And we're supposed to take seriously any statement by the guy who pulled down 40% of the Spanish electrical grid in 1961 when he tore out electrical lines while buzzing the countryside in his Skyraider??

  • g on January 04, 2012 7:47 PM:

    Any lie will do for the Republicans.

  • Elie on January 04, 2012 7:52 PM:

    - Honestly.

    John is just hurting for attention and relevance. Who cares who he hates? He hates everyone -- is envious and resentful of everyone who he sees as stealing his thunder and attention. How old is he? When is he going to retire? Honestly -- why post comments about this guy. His time has passed. Forever.

  • SW on January 04, 2012 8:02 PM:

    What these asshats don't have the stones to come right out and say is that the plan was for the United States to stay in Iraq FOREVER. That is why we built the biggest god damn embassy in the world there. That is what all the phony 'rebuilding' was about. It was about annexing the only remaining unexploited oilfield in the Middle East. And now we are actually living up to the obligations in that phony treaty! The one that was supposed to be for the rubes!

  • Squeaky McCrinkle on January 04, 2012 9:39 PM:

    McCain has finally scraped through the bottom of the barrel and become an outright disgrace to his father and grandfather's military tradition. What a rotten, bitter old man.

  • Toc on January 04, 2012 10:08 PM:

    .
    McCain is senile.
    Before that, he had no principles.
    But now, he's both unprincipled AND senile.

  • Skip on January 04, 2012 10:35 PM:

    "you can run, but you can’t hide from your record of making this country bankrupt, from destroying our national security and for making this nation one that we have to restore..."

    President Bush did indeed hide very well, thank you. He hid behind the likes of McCain and Co who are forever firing their verbal arsenals at the wrong target.

  • MNRD on January 05, 2012 1:10 AM:

    What McCain and his fellow neo-conservatives fail to understand is that in extending their Obama Derangement Syndrome to the President's aggressive but prudent foreign policy, they are feeding the non-interventionist movement within their own party! Their disgraceful behavior is causing neo-conservatism itself to become more and more widely discredited among the American people.

  • MuddyLee on January 05, 2012 8:49 AM:

    Twice in the 21st century, McCain has done things that should disqualify him from being taken seriously by any literate American: (1) endorsed the re-election campaign of George Bush and Dick Cheney in 2004; (2) selected Sarah Palin as the Republican VP candidate in 2008. And because they are friends and often take similar positions, this should also apply to Lindsay Graham.

  • golack on January 05, 2012 9:28 AM:

    Now don't fret--I'm sure he'll be on every Sunday talking head show from now through Nov. to explain himself.

  • LL on January 05, 2012 12:28 PM:

    I believe it's called a lie. Yes, John McCain was "lying." This is not some big surprise. McCain has been lying about all kinds of things for his entire political career and before.

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