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McCain Lashes Out At Journalists, Says They Don’t ‘Understand Our Veterans’

By Ben Armbruster on November 5, 2012 at 9:49 am

"McCain Lashes Out At Journalists, Says They Don’t ‘Understand Our Veterans’"

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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)

This morning on CNN, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) attacked and ridiculed CNN’s Roland Martin and the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza after Martin and Lizza disagreed with McCain that the attacks in Benghazi, Libya in September won’t have much effect on voters’ decisions in tomorrow’s presidential election.

When asked about a new ad from former military officers offering support for Mitt Romney, McCain said the Libya issue will have “a greater impact” on the election. “I have never seen veterans as angry and upset as they are over Benghazi,” he said, adding in many of his regular talking points attacking Obama on Libya.

But Roland and Lizza were less enthusiastic about the Arizona Republican’s point. Lizza said he agreed with McCain that there needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened in Libya but added, “I doubt out side of the very conservative base of the Republican Party, it’s going to do a lot to move the votes in Romney’s direction.”Martin agreed. “I’ve interviewed a lot of veterans and they’re more outraged … when the U.S. Senate didn’t even pass the veterans jobs bill and they said that’s directly impacting us,” he said.

But McCain didn’t seem to appreciate their disagreement, ridiculing Martin and Lizza for supposedly not knowing anything about veterans:

MCCAIN: I don’t expect Mr. Martin or Mr. Cilizza [sic] to understand our veterans. I know them. I have seen them out there, by the way this was the sixth jobs bill that we have, we have six jobs programs. The point is, veterans do care what happens to other veterans. Veterans are upset. Maybe Mr. Lizza doesn’t understand that and I wouldn’t expect him to to tell you the truth. But the fact is, veterans care about this and there’s been a cover up for 7 weeks we haven’t been able to get an answer out of the President of the United States. Mr. Lizza and Mr. Martin, I respect their views, I don’t think it’s grounded in any experience. I thank you for having me on.

Watch the clip:

“Let me be CLEAR,” Martin said in a tweet at McCain immediately after the segment. “It is an insult for you to suggest that I do not have an appreciation for the veterans of this country.” Martin followed up in another tweet: “u need to understand that u don’t have to serve in the military to fight for veterans. Your dismissive attitude is wrong.”

While McCain and Martin’s surveys of veterans is anecdotal and may not provide an accurate representation of what all veterans think about President Obama’s handling of the situation in Benghazi, Obama is significantly outraising Romney among military donors and polling has indicated strong support for the president among veterans. Perhaps that’s because Obama and the First Lady have made veterans unemployment and other military issues a top priority for the administration while Romney has dredged through the campaign without offering any plan to address veterans issues.

“We haven’t … heard any specific plans yet from Governor Romney or his campaign,” on VFW official said recently.

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