Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has engaged in a few intra-party scuffles this week, primarily over national security disputes, but he may not have fully thought through some of his criticisms (thanks to my colleague Michael Yarvitz for the heads-up).
While McCain has been a fierce critic of the Obama administration, he has also tangled with members of his own party, particularly the new crop of lawmakers including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), darlings of the conservative grassroots.
When I asked him if “these guys” – having just mentioned Amash, Cruz and Paul by name – are a “positive force” in the GOP, McCain paused for a full six seconds.
“They were elected, nobody believes that there was a corrupt election, anything else,” McCain said. “But I also think that when, you know, it’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone.”
In 2012, John McCain made 21 Sunday show appearances. So far this year, there have been nine weekends, and McCain has been on six Sunday shows. On a typical Capitol Hill workday, McCain can expect to be invited to speak on camera on a nearly daily basis, and be sought out by print reporters at least as often.
When it comes to members of Congress, very few people if any have as much access to the Beltway media as John McCain.
“It’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone”? Of all the arguments McCain can make against his foes, this seems like the one he ought to avoid.