Morning Joe, 11/4/12, 7:00 PM ET

McCain: Veterans angry over handling of Benghazi attack

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., joins Morning Joe to discuss how it feels to be a presidential candidate a day before the election, why U.S. veterans are angry over the Obama administration's handling of Benghazi and why a bipartisan panel should...

John McCain: US veterans angry over Benghazi bungle


Arizona Republican Senator John McCain isn’t sure if the Obama administration’s handling of the Benghazi, Libya attack demonstrates incompetence or is part of a larger administration-wide cover up. He is sure parts of the story don’t “pass the smell test,” he told Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski Monday morning.

McCain, who had been in Pensacola, Florida rallying for Mitt Romney and meeting with U.S. veterans, said the aftermath has been “terribly mishandled” and that he believes the president should have gone on television and explained to the American public what really happened in the Sept. 11, 2012 attack that left four Americans dead.

“Obviously, he hasn’t done that…I’m suggesting it’s either gross incompetence…or bureaucrats trying to avoid responsibilities or..they’ve just decided to run out the clock and then maybe have a full and complete investigation. I don’t know, but it’s reprehensible whatever it is. It’s just not acceptable.”

Sen. McCain is calling for a bipartisan panel to investigate, and he told Scarborough and Brzezinski the deaths of “four brave Americans” requires a panel “because I don’t think many people in this country would trust just an administration investigation into it.”

Veterans in Pensacola have also gotten concerned about the issue, McCain said. He stated there was a level of anger among the demographic that he’d never seen before.

“How much that matters, I don’t know, but…there are 1.6 million veterans in the state of Florida, and I’ve never seen them as fired up as they are now,” he said.

Brzezinski also asked Sen. McCain to recall what it feels like to be a presidential candidate the night before Election Day.

“It’s a lot of tension and obviously a lot of excitement,” he said.  “People are fired up. In my case, I think there was a bit of a dose of reality in that we could read the polls and knew that it was going to be difficult to win, but that didn’t change our enthusiasm or going all out until the last minute.”

John McCain: US veterans angry over Benghazi bungle