Rohrabacher: McCain, Graham don't speak for Republican Party

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) on Tuesday called for the media and the Obama administration to stop looking to Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) as spokesmen for the GOP.

From foreign policy to immigration reform, Rohrabacher said, the two do not represent the views of the larger Republican Party. 

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“There is a lot resentment in the party that these two guys are presenting themselves as spokesmen for the Republicans,” he said on C-SPAN. “And they are not spokesman for the Republicans. They are spokesman for themselves, as we all have that right.”

He said he understood McCain was once the party’s GOP presidential nominee, and said he personally liked Graham. 

“But I wish people in the media would quit focusing on, and I wish the administration would quit focusing on, Lindsey and John McCain for spokesmen for the party, because they are not.”

Rohrabacher’s comments were prompted by a question about reports that Secretary of State John Kerry had privately told a group of lawmakers — including Graham and McCain — that he supported a more assertive U.S. policy in Syria.  

McCain and Graham had said Kerry hinted that it might be time to begin arming some Syrian rebel groups — something the State Department has denied. 

Rohrabacher said the United States is war weary from the Iraq War, which he described as a mistake. He said the two senators’ views do not reflect that.  

“When Lindsey and McCain talk, I don't think it reflects that fundamental shift in foreign engagements with large numbers of troops,” he said. 

Rohrabacher also said the senators’ views on immigration reform were not in line with the party. McCain and Graham were both members of the Gang of Eight, which helped usher through a comprehensive immigration package in the Senate last year. 

“I think there are a number of issues, for example on immigration, which you just talked about, where their views are not reflective of the large number of Republicans,” he said.