Making his 19th Sunday show appearance of the year, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) got a little unhinged on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” equating the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi with the Watergate scandal that brought down the Nixon presidency.
For those who can’t watch clips online, McCain, apparently letting his contempt for President Obama get the better of him, argued, “You know what, somebody the other day said to me that this is as bad as Watergate. Well, nobody died in Watergate. But this is either a massive cover-up or an incompetence that is not acceptable service to the American people.”
As a substantive matter, the Republican senator can’t back up these criticisms with any evidence whatsoever. McCain is just recklessly throwing around unfounded charges on national television the week before an election, hoping something might stick.
What’s odd, though, is how weak this smear campaign really is. Remember, Mitt Romney tried to capitalize on the deadly attack in September, and it backfired. He tried again during the second debate, and was left looking ridiculous. By last week, the Republicans’ entire line of criticism against the administration had begun to unravel, and in the third presidential candidate debate, Romney didn’t even bother to go after Obama on this.
And yet, there was McCain, referencing Watergate – there’s that comparison again – and assuming his careless rhetoric will ensure he won’t have to wait long for his 20th Sunday show appearance of the year.