McCain to reporter: ‘That’s one of the dumbest questions I’ve ever heard.’

posted at 6:16 pm on November 14, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham

At a morning press conference that set the standard for today’s testy responses, Sen. John McCain was calling for a select committee to investigate failures in the Benghazi attack when he was asked by a reporter whether he thought Gen. David Petraeus’ extramarital affair and resignation might have been a bigger national security threat than the Benghazi attack and its aftermath.

His response, with great respect, of course:

“Well, I say with great respect, that’s one of the dumbest questions I’ve ever heard. Okay? There’s four dead Americans. Four dead Americans. Not a socialite. I’m answering your question. Do you want me to answer your question or do you wanna interrupt? Which do you want? There’s four dead Americans. The lives of other Americans were put in jeopardy,” McCain said. “It’s certainly a national security issues, but it doesn’t rise to the level of four dead Americans.”

McCain was flanked by Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who criticized the White House and Ambassador Susan Rice for their actions in Benghazi’s aftermath. Graham followed up on McCain’s response to the reporter, saying it would be part of the committee’s goal to separate the “weird” from the “national security risk.”

In calling for a special select committee to investigate the September 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said he is increasingly concerned about the potential fallout from the Petraeus affair and any national security implications, including ones linked to the Libya attack.

“The goal of this investigation is to have professional staff that hears everyone testify, the same set of senators who hears everyone testify so we can segregate out the weird from the national security,” Graham said. “And there is beginning to be a national security component to the human failing that I want to know about.”

I wonder why McCain, Graham, and Ayotte didn’t wait until after President Obama’s press conference to announce they’d ask for a select committee. Perhaps they thought they’d push the subject hard to ensure someone would ask about it at today’s presidential press conference, afraid a sycophantic press corps would let it lie. And, really, who can begrudge them that fear? But I might have let the president get pushed on it first before giving the press corps a chance to frame the issue as asking for a response to a Republican attack on Benghazi rather than just answering questions he should have already answered. ABC’s Jon Karl’s question started with “Republicans want to,” but Fox’s Ed Henry got straight down to the matter, riling the president.

A select committee is a special committee appointed usually to investigate a matter that crosses the jurisdictional lines of two or more standing committees. The three cautioned that traditional hearings would “stovepipe” information but a select committee would streamline the process. Congress held select committees to look into everything from pre-Iraq intelligence failures to oil company profits during the George W. Bush years, but McCain highlighted older and more famous examples like Iran Contra and Watergate select committees.

Oh, and everyone get ready for any criticism of Ambassador Susan Rice to be demagogued within an inch of its life as either sexist or racist. Mother Jones signaled the beginning of this line of attack in October by calling criticism of her a “high-tech lynching,” and the president displayed perhaps more emotion than he’s ever showed in defending her today. You can bet that video is being sent to a micro-targeted list of women voters. Sen. Ayotte was a tad softer in her tone about Rice, while still calling her to account. Others in the party should model their responses on hers:

“You don’t end up on every single major Sunday show without affirmatively putting yourself out there of wanting to carry forward a message on behalf of the administration. I think that there’s a certain responsibility with the current position that she has to ask proper questions about what we did and didn’t know at that point before she affirmatively puts herself out there on every major network to communicate to the American people.”


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Oh, and everyone get ready for any criticism of Ambassador Susan Rice to be demagogued within an inch of its life as either sexist or racist.

But what if some of my best friends are communist black women who are congenital liars? Can I criticize Rice then?

Call a spade a spade, John.
petefrt on November 14, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Um, lolz? ;-)

CorporatePiggy on November 14, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Well said, Basil.

Lourdes on November 14, 2012 at 7:41 PM

another idiot to the trough. romney a genius? dude, mccain and obama both kicked his butt.

he lost to a frickin community organizer, who will go down in history as the worst president this nation ever had.

renalin on November 14, 2012 at 7:46 PM

It’s you who looks idiotic with your behavior…you do more to decrease support for “Palin” than any issue or action does. People read your insults of others and they eventually just get sick of it. Like, a few years ago, sick of it.

Lourdes on November 14, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Who was the great teacher who said
“There are no stupid Questions.”
.
.
.
.
.
“only stupid Politicians”
.
.
.
.
“and stupid Hot Air commentators”

????

LegendHasIt on November 14, 2012 at 8:17 PM

another idiot to the trough. romney a genius? dude, mccain and obama both kicked his butt.

he lost to a frickin community organizer, who will go down in history as the worst president this nation ever had.

renalin on November 14, 2012 at 7:46 PM

The result speaks not to Mitt’s genius which has been objectively proven by his phenomenal success in the market using nothing but his industry, knowledge and brains but speaks to the intelligence of the electorate, which like yours, is so sadly lacking that this needs to be explained to you.

Basilsbest on November 14, 2012 at 8:18 PM

Basilsbest is a decent person and comments in a polite fashion, does not merit being insulted by you all for any reason.

Lourdes on November 14, 2012 at 8:12 PM

He does not comment in a polite fashion. I cannot believe you’re saying this.

When he came in like a roar in January, he was one of the most insulting Romney supporter on board. His vindictive died down during the campaign, but since last Tuesday he’s brought it back.

INC on November 14, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Sen. McCain’s response was perfect.

Almost…this would have been even better.

lynncgb on November 14, 2012 at 8:22 PM

Another on the list is Samantha Power..Cass Sunstien’s wife.
Remember her? She recommended that American troops side with the “Palestinians” and raise arms against Israel.

Is no one paying attention at all to who’s side this radical is on???
WTF?

http://yidwithlid.blogspot.com/2009/01/israel-hating-samantha-power-named-key.html

Mimzey on November 14, 2012 at 8:22 PM

Hmmm… Am I missing something here?

The reporter asks something to the effect: “do you think that there’s a potentially greater national security threat… apparently thousands of pages of classified documents ending up on the personal computer of a Tampa socialite…”

I thought Paula Broadwell’s computer had the sensitive/classified information on it – not Tampa socialite Jill Kelley’s.

Sheesh – what a soap opera.

Hill60 on November 14, 2012 at 8:24 PM

What a coincidence; John McCain is one of the dumbest people I’ve ever heard.

Dante on November 14, 2012 at 8:24 PM

my guess is Obama is doing the dirty with Rice…mooch ain’t going to be happy…

squirm baby squirm…watergate was A ball compared to everything going on around him…wonder when Axelrod (the guy that has actually been running the executive branch) retires due to “health”?

teejk on November 14, 2012 at 8:28 PM

If anyone here has so much as said one thing that even alluded to not being stone-cold drunk on Palin, you and others ripped them apart and kept at it to the point that it resulted in bad feelings, resentments, disorder, just bad results.

Apparently you read a different version of HA than I do. During the primaries there were several people supporting Romney who were just plain nasty. Romney and his handlers initially lost no time sticking their thumb in conservatives eyes.

Palin — I believe — is a media personality and not a Presidential candidate. She accomplishes a great deal of EMOTIONAL FERVOR on the behalf of issues by agitating the media and keeping persons, especially, such as yourself, occupied with her as a personality if not icon.

Did it ever occur to you that Palin expresses much of what we feel? I think for myself. I loved Reagan and Palin but they are still flawed human beings—as we all are. I don’t like being called a cultist. Yesterday basilsbest was claiming Romney was too good for the republican party. No hyperbole there huh?

Lourdes on November 14, 2012 at 8:09 PM

arnold ziffel on November 14, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Hey John, you forgot to add…”ya stupid Jerk!”

can_con on November 14, 2012 at 8:30 PM

my guess is Obama is doing the dirty with Rice…mooch ain’t going to be happy…
teejk on November 14, 2012 at 8:28 PM

Only if Rice is a tranny.

LegendHasIt on November 14, 2012 at 8:33 PM

Hey John, you forgot to add…”ya stupid Jerk!”

can_con on November 14, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Nah, that’s saved for conservatives.

arnold ziffel on November 14, 2012 at 8:37 PM

I hope John does not give an inch over this.

It’s actually a perfect situation for him. Take him down John.

WisCon on November 14, 2012 at 8:37 PM

DON’T DO “MAD MEN” IN A “MAD MAX MEDIA” WORLD.Gentlemen, let General Petraeus serve as a warning — this is not the day you can hide a passionate, handwritten note. You would be amazed at the relationship information put on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

Mutnodjmet on November 14, 2012 at 8:40 PM

I notice that Republicans are spending (and wasting IMO) endless hours rehashing the election, trying to figure out why they lost.

They ought to be doing what Senator McCain did, plainly and clearly calling out the press for a “dumb” question. Gingrich did this in the primaries, which is why I hoped he would be nominated.

The dems and the lib press need to be challenged, admonished, schooled for EVERY dumb question, every action, every stupid statement no matter how trivial, and when they lie, they should be called LIARS, no euphemisms.

And no exemption for POTUS, he hasn’t earned it.

The right-wing commentators (and I love ‘em all) are spending most of their radio time (I don’t have a TV) telling us what the dems are: marxists, alinskyites, prevaricators (no, LIARS!), advocates of class warfare, etc, etc.

Well, we knew all that before the election (at least I knew it) and Mitt lost.

For example, why aren’t the Romney people challenging vote counts that are close or suspicious, like the ones in PA? Why do we all know that Boehner is going to cave on taxes?

Instead we get petitions for secession; this is disgruntled voters making a statement but it isn’t ACTION.

Republican need to take a few leaves from the lib playbook—becoming community organizers, infiltrating school boards at every level to root out propagandizing lib teachers and professors. And don’t worry about the effect on your kids’ grades, they won’t be able to get jobs after they graduate anyway and they will be burdened with crushing national debt.

I could go on…………

This requires leaders. Any volunteers?

EL on November 14, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Dumb answer. Petraeus engaging in conduct which made him susceptible to blackmail is in my opinion a greater threat to national security than 4 dead Americans.

Basilsbest on November 14, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Wrong answer. McCain was right, and the reason why was summed up nicely here:

Sen. McCain’s response was perfect. He knows the press are pushing the Patreaus scandal as a red herring to protect their boyfriend. To hell with them. The president, vice president, defense secretary, national security director, Valerie Jarrot, and several others sat in the Situation Room and watched Amb Stevens and three others die on sept 11 2012. There is no bigger story right now. Let the hearings begin!

RobertE on November 14, 2012 at 7:26 PM

That’s right. The whole reason the reporter asked this question is because the media doesn’t care about Beghazi and people being left to die by a callous and careless president. They’d much rather talk about a sex scandal affecting a general.

And McCain didn’t let them get away with it. Good for him.

tom on November 14, 2012 at 8:52 PM

You know, this has to be bothering Obama just a little bit. He just got elected again and instead of adoring throngs he has scandal in the news a week after the election. Republicans demanding answers of him a week after his election. The nation exploding with succession petitions a week after his election. News of voter fraud a week after his election.

You might think it shouldn’t bother him one bit. He won, after all. But to a Narcissist… the Narcissistic mind can ignore a hundred admirers and focus on the one guy in the back corner of the room not smiling at him.

I have this feeling that, even though ObamaCare is about to become law, Obama is not going to have the success he had in his first 4 years.

And as for the election fraud, I read today that there were over 70,000 reports of voter problems across the nation.

We need House hearings on voter fraud or fair elections are going to be a thing of the past. It won’t matter who we run.

JellyToast on November 14, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Palin showed dreadful judgment with her endorsement of Gingrich and her brain dead call for a brokered convention. Romney showed poor judgment when he did not defend Palin when she was blood libelled over the Phoenix killings. If he had done that and Palin had endorsed him early and then sat back we might be looking at a good man in the White House instead of a con man thug.

The GOP needs to find and new hero and rally around him or her.

Basilsbest on November 14, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Basilsbest on November 14, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Whether or nor he runs again, that doesn’t preclude him speaking out against Obama. And where was he during the last four years, anyway?

Palin never endorsed Gingrich. She was exactly right to keep the primary going. That length of time pulled Romney to the right, and BTW it gave him more stump experience. As for the brokered convention call, only Romney people would call that brain dead.

Poor judgment? Is that what you call not defending Palin after Gabby Gifford was shot? He and all those GOP who didn’t defend her did should be ashamed. They were perfectly willing to let her twist in the wind. That’s not poor judgment. It’s acting in complete self-interest. It’s interesting that you frame it in terms that if he had done so, then he might have been in the WH. How about he should have done so because it was the RIGHT thing to do!!!

We don’t need a hero. We need a leader. We won’t have to “find” him or her either. Because leadership is self-evident.

INC on November 14, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Very good answer.

What Basilsbest is having a hard time accepting is that Palin is smarter than he/she is, and could see the glaring weaknesses in a Romney candidacy. Palin stuck to one theme during the entire primary process: the winning candidate should have to earn the nomination.

Romney became a much better candidate than he used to be because he had to fight for the nomination. Sadly, it wasn’t enough. Not that I was surprised.

tom on November 14, 2012 at 8:57 PM

McCain, Graham, Patreus and Gen. T Franks have something up their sleeves.

can_con on November 14, 2012 at 9:05 PM

When I criticize the Prez, I’m criticizing his white half. Now, not only has Barry have to fix Bush’s mess, he has to fix his own poo. Kinda wonder if he were hoping to lose the election eh?

racquetballer on November 14, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Did any reporters ask him if he was too old to do his f*cking job

Dave Rywall on November 14, 2012 at 9:11 PM

Here’s the only thing people such as yourself accomplish:

You condemn and harass others on false, insulting claims of them being “bots” or “worshippers” of (at this time, it’s Romney, last few years it was “Bush”) while you engage in the same thing as to Palin.

There’s far more evidence of worship on the part of Basilsbest than any of the people you deride as Palin cultists. I’ll probably be called a Palinista here, but I don’t think I’ve ever suggested that Palin was the one person who could save the country, or the best politician in 200 years, or similar superlatives.

If anyone here has so much as said one thing that even alluded to not being stone-cold drunk on Palin, you and others ripped them apart and kept at it to the point that it resulted in bad feelings, resentments, disorder, just bad results.

Palin — I believe — is a media personality and not a Presidential candidate. She accomplishes a great deal of EMOTIONAL FERVOR on the behalf of issues by agitating the media and keeping persons, especially, such as yourself, occupied with her as a personality if not icon.

That’s well and good. But I do think you should stop harassing other people for their views and opinions when they are generally where you are on issues as to the Right and are clearly not Liberals. Because as long as you continue USING “Palin” as your cause and icon, you simply generate bad feelings about her. Yes, you do that.

Lourdes on November 14, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Yeah, just a governor and vice-presidential candidate, and a politician that came closer to handing John McCain a victory than Mitt Romney with all his millions and 6 years of runnning for the presidency as first one type of candidate and then another could get. (Now he’s a progressive Republican! Now he’s a severe conservative! Now he’s a centrist who appeals to independents!) Sure, she’s nothing more than a media personality, like Snooki. Give me a break.

tom on November 14, 2012 at 9:12 PM

Palin never endorsed Gingrich. She was exactly right to keep the primary going. That length of time pulled Romney to the right, and BTW it gave him more stump experience. As for the brokered convention call, only Romney people would call that brain dead.

She certainly did endorse Gingrich, just not in an honest, forthright manner. She helped to keep the primary going so long that by the time it was over Mitt had to regroup and fund raise instead of going directly after Obama. And her call for a brokered convention, which would have left the nominee 2 short months to organize a campaign, was beyond stupid. It was brain dead. People who support her after such idiocy are cultists.

The best thing Palin can do now for the country is announce that she is not running in 4 years. Perhaps then the cultists won’t be swarming around the next nominee like a pack of hyenas.

As for McCain’s statement, the killing of Stevens and the other 3 was a preventable tragedy. Their deaths are however not a national security threat. The national security threat is that the man who failed to protect Stevens and then lied to cover his appalling breach of duty is still in power and one of the reasons he’s in power is that Petraeus covered for him – either because he was being blackmailed or feared being blackmailed.

The reporter asked a good question. McCain is a hero but not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Basilsbest on November 14, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Whether or nor he runs again, that doesn’t preclude him speaking out against Obama.

Speaking out against Obama would be interpreted and dismissed as sour grapes. Do you cultists need everything explained to you?

Basilsbest on November 14, 2012 at 10:20 PM

That reporters should have been strapped down, covered in petrol, and set on fire – ON THE SPOT!

williamg on November 14, 2012 at 10:26 PM

Basilsbest on November 14, 2012 at 10:14/20 PM

A lot of revisionist history there.

What does it matter if it’s interpreted as sour grapes? Sarah Palin kept speaking out, and she was accused of far worse.

(Oh, and as much as I’ve disagreed with you, I don’t think I’ve ever insulted you by calling names).

INC on November 14, 2012 at 11:42 PM

Speaking out against Obama would be interpreted and dismissed as sour grapes. Do you cultists need everything explained to you?

Basilsbest on November 14, 2012 at 10:20 PM

4 Americans killed. That is the FIRST question.

They held out for over 7 Hours, waiting for help. None came. That is the SECOND.

Even if this had happened on Reagans watch, those questions AND answer to the country should be “These men died because…”

But it happened on Obama’s: Black Democrat or not, that SHOULD be the first thing out of his mouth…not “A film did” or “A mob did…”

We haven’t heard that, have you?

BlaxPac on November 15, 2012 at 12:56 AM

It appears that McCain is finally…FINALLY realizing what a scumbag Obama is, and was.

And that he let Barack the Liar off so easily in 2008 with undeserved “gentlemanliness” against a brass-knuckles, slime-spewing douchebag, and that he essentially ceded the election to this unqualified, incompetent megalomaniacal b.s. artist and weasel extraordinaire.

McCain is finally pissed.

With himself AND Obama.

Better late than never.

Get ‘em, Mac!

profitsbeard on November 15, 2012 at 2:29 AM

McCain holds presser

Skips briefing on Benghazi

Priorities straight

Dave Rywall on November 15, 2012 at 11:12 AM

“Senator McCain was absent from the [Benghazi] hearing due to a scheduling error.”
-McCain fart catcher spokesman Brian Rogers

ha ha ha “scheduling error”. He chose to hold a presser.

Priorities.

Dave Rywall on November 15, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Obviously, McCain doesn’t understand that it is more important that the FBI get into everyone’s bedroom than it is to defend the nation.

georgeofthedesert on November 16, 2012 at 10:29 AM

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