The HillTube

McCain: Veterans' anger over Benghazi will cost Obama at the polls

ADVERTISEMENT
"I know there is 1.6 million veterans in Florida. They are angry. They have lost their trust in this commander in chief," McCain said.

During a subsequent interview on CNN, when New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza and contributor Roland Martin suggested that voters would be more concerned about the economy, McCain reacted angrily.

"Veterans are upset. Maybe Mr. Lizza doesn't understand that and I wouldn't expect him to, to tell you the truth," McCain said. "The fact is veterans care about this and there's been a cover-up for seven weeks. For seven 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."

McCain also reiterated his call for a bipartisan panel to investigate the attacks in Benghazi.

"We just have to have a select committee like we had with Watergate, Iran-Contra and those," McCain said. "There's just too many conflicting stories. there's too much back and forth and different sources. And you know, four brave Americans did die, and that really requires that level of involvement because frankly, I don't think many people in this country would trust just an administration investigation into it."

The former Republican presidential nominee did acknowledge, however, that despite hammering from Republicans over the terrorist attacks, Obama had improved his standing in the polls in recent weeks and was headed into Election Day with a slight advantage. Nevertheless, McCain predicted a late break for Romney.

"I think it's probably the hurricane," McCain told Fox News. "I don't know how much it lasts and I don't know how significant it is. Usually in elections in the past, the undecideds have broken for the challenger."

McCain did, however, concede that the president had done a good job of establishing a ground game during the Republican primaries.

"A lot of it is their get-out-the-vote operation on the ground," McCain said. "You've got to give the Obama campaign some credit for that — while Mitt was fighting his way through the primaries, they were establishing that."

More in Defense

McCain: Fall of Ramadi 'terribly significant'

Read more »