Sen. John McCain is renewing his criticism of President Obama, publicly calling the president “cowardly” for the second time in a week.
“The self-pity that [Obama] continues to exhibit is really kind of sad,” the Arizona Republican said during an appearance on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.” “I really can’t work with him at all.”McCain’s comments were in response to something the president said during a fundraiser Wednesday in California, when he suggested congressional Republicans are neither “loyal” nor “rational.” The GOP and some Democrats have ramped up concerns in recent days over how the president’s latest fundraising swing is being viewed in the context of several ongoing world conflicts. On Monday, CaliforniaSen. Dianne Feinstein became the leading Democratic voice to urge the president to re-focus his agenda, saying there ought to be “increased attention” in places like Russia, Ukraine, Israel and Gaza.
McCain last Friday described the Obama administration as cowardly during an appearance on Fox News discussing the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
“It’s just been cowardly, it’s a cowardly administration that failed to give the Ukrainians weapons with which to defend themselves,” McCain said on “Hannity.”
In that interview, McCain went on to say he didn’t “understand the president” and said Obama had gone “AWOL” from the presidency. In his appearance Wednesday, his rhetoric was much the same, but said if there ever was a time to reach across the aisle – it is now.
“I cannot explain it except to say that [Obama] does not have this desire to have social interface with people and sit down and try to work things out,” McCain said Wednesday.
The last time the president had large social interactions directly with his opponents was last year, when he invited rank-and-file Republicans to dinner at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington and the White House. Back then, the overture was aimed at jumpstarting budget talks and garnering support for gun reform and a comprehensive immigration package. So far, the president is batting one for three. Congress eventually came to an agreement on a budget, but efforts to overhaul immigration and gun laws have gone nowhere.
Last year, the president said that he believed many Republicans were uneasy about meeting with him because of the way it may look to their conservative voters back home.
“I think a lot of folks say, ‘Well, you know, if we look like we’re being too cooperative or too chummy with the president that might cause us problems,” Obama said last January. “’That might be an excuse for use to get a challenge from somebody in a primary.”