McCain’s Hypocrisy On Devil Comments: Chavez Was ‘Despicable,’ Refuses To Condemn Falwell

Yesterday on CBS Face the Nation, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) criticized Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez for calling President Bush “the devil” in a speech at the United Nations. But he dismissed Jerry Falwell’s statement that Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) would energize conservative voters more than Lucifer, stating, “I think he was joking.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/09/mccaindevil.320.240.flv]

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Full transcript below:

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, Senator McCain, the UN General Assembly met this week and there were some fairly tough things issued from the–from the podium up there. What’s your overall reaction? How about this guy Chavez from Venezuela?

Sen. McCAIN: Despic–despicable. In his case, he aspires to be this generation’s Castro. I think the people of Venezuela ought to look at the standard of living in Cuba before they would embrace such a thing. We were just talking off camera, Senor Wences, I guess it was, the sock puppet. Look, it’s despicable and the United Nations should not be used as that kind of forum. But it goes back to Khrushchev in ’56 banging his shoe on the table. But I would–I would say that this is an argument to get John Bolton confirmed as our UN ambassador. He’s smart, he’s tough, he would respond to these guys. And he could talk back to these two-bit dictators who have the air fare to New York. And I hope my Democrat friends will stop holding up the nomination of John Bolton.

Mr. HARRIS: Chavez called Bush Satan. And there’s Jerry Falwell in the news just today, said Hillary Clinton will do as much as Satan to energize the conservative base. You were just down there at his university. What did you make of Falwell’s comment?

Sen. McCAIN: I think he was joking. I’m–from what I was told, he was laughing. And for the record, even though Mrs. Clinton and I may have some disagreements, I don’t think she’s Lucifer.