Friday, October 5, 2012

WATCH: McCain Primetime 2 Nights In a Row, Steps Up Rhetoric On Obama and Susan Rice: "Probably One Of The Worst Things I've Observed In My Entire Life"

Arizona Senator John McCain (R-AZ) completes (t)his interview tour of the three major cable news networks tonight, when he sits down with CNN's highest profile interviewer Piers Morgan.  In a preview released by CNN this afternoon, he rips into the Obama Administration and Susan Rice (U.S.' Ambassador to the U.N.) for maintaining that the attack in Libya that took the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans may have grown out of a demonstration of an anti-Muslim YouTube video, instead of a planned terrorist attack.

McCain calls Rice's comments on the September 16 Sunday morning news shows "Probably one of the worst things I've observed in my entire life."

The rest of his video airs tonight at 6pm (Arizona Time) (and will be repeated later in the evening).

Here is a video of Susan Rice's comments on CBS' Face the Nation program on September 16.  She notes that an investigation had begun, and leaves open the possibility that the evidence might show that it was more than spontaneous.

Below the jump, the transcript of that interview is laid out.

Very interestingly, the very next guest on that Face the Nation - in the same chair - was John McCain - he probably saw and/or spoke with Rice during the commercial break.  However, when repeatedly given the opportunity to criticize Rice, he declined to mention her by name and broke off most of his criticisms of the Administration.  He only repeated his complaints that the Obama Administration has made the U.S. the "weak horse" and has "disengaged."

McCain has seen some pretty hardcore things and comments in Washington in the past 25-plus years (and before), and some would say that he has said some pretty misleading things during that time.  For this to be one of the worst sounds a bit like the-close-election-is-almost-here hyperbole.  (One of the most hyperbolic statements I've heard in my entire life?)


Tonight's interview will complete his two-day tour of major programs on the three cable news/political networks.  Yesterday, he hit "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, where "he warned Romney and the Republicans to "not underestimate President Obama" and attributed his debate performance to "rust".

Then, last night, he visited his frequent interviewer Greta Van Susteren on Fox News:

BOB SCHIEFFER: And joining us now, Susan Rice, the U.N. ambassador, our U.N. ambassador. Madam Ambassador, he says this is something that has been in the planning stages for months. I understand you have been saying that you think it was spontaneous? Are we not on the same page here?
SUSAN RICE (Ambassador to the United Nations): Bob, let me tell you what we understand to be the assessment at present. First of all, very importantly, as you discussed with the President, there is an investigation that the United States government will launch led by the FBI, that has begun and--
BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): But they are not there.
SUSAN RICE: They are not on the ground yet, but they have already begun looking at all sorts of evidence of-- of various sorts already available to them and to us. And they will get on the ground and continue the investigation. So we'll want to see the results of that investigation to draw any definitive conclusions. But based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy--
SUSAN RICE: --sparked by this hateful video. But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that-- in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent.
BOB SCHIEFFER: But you do not agree with him that this was something that had been plotted out several months ago?
SUSAN RICE: We do not-- we do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you agree or disagree with him that al Qaeda had some part in this?
SUSAN RICE: Well, we'll have to find out that out. I mean I think it's clear that there were extremist elements that joined in and escalated the violence. Whether they were al Qaeda affiliates, whether they were Libyan-based extremists or al Qaeda itself I think is one of the things we'll have to determine.

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