Brett LoGiurato/Business Insider
MILWAUKEE, Wis. — In what appeared to be off-the-cuff remarks here at a campaign event supporting Republican Senate candidate Tommy Thompson, Sen. John McCain hit the Obama administration hard for its early response to the attacks on the U.S. mission in Libya last month.Particularly, he fumed over the administration’s early suggestion that the attacks were a spontaneous response to an inflammatory anti-Muslim video, noting U.N. ambassador Susan Rice’s early talk-show account.
“Maybe in our U.N. ambassador’s mind, there are people sitting around in their living rooms there that said, ‘Gee, there’s a hateful video there. Grab your mortar, honey! We’re going to a demonstration!'” McCain said.
His remarks drew laughs from Thompson and two other Senators that appeared at the veterans-centered Thompson rally — Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
McCain’s comments came two days after a memorable exchange between President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney in the second presidential debate. Romney accused Obama of waiting two weeks to call the incident a terrorist attack.
Obama pointed out that he had referred to it as an “act of terror” the next day in a speech at the Rose Garden. When Romney repeated his claim, moderator Candy Crowley interjected and said that Obama “did, in fact, sir,” call it an “act of terror.”
In an interview after the Thompson rally, McCain said that, in “some ways,” Romney could have been more forceful on the topic. But he continued to hammer the president and the administration, calling the situation either a deliberate cover-up or the result of blatant incompetence.
“They’re either deliberately misinforming the American people, or they’re so abysmally incompetent that they’re not fit to govern,” McCain said.
In his earlier remarks, McCain noted that Obama had dropped the line “al-Qaida is on the run” from his campaign stump speeches. (The president added the line back at a New Hampshire campaign stop today.)
“My friends, al-Qaida is on the run. They’re on the run back,” McCain said.
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