McCain says Obama’s Libya handling either a ‘massive coverup’ or gross incompetence

October 28, 2012

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that the Obama administration's handling of the situation in Libya is either the worst cover-up he has ever seen or the kind of incompetence that should disqualify the president from serving as commander in chief.

"This tragedy turned into a debacle and massive coverup or massive incompetence in Libya is having an effect on the voters because of their view of the commander in chief," McCain said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "And it is now the worst coverup or incompetence that I have ever observed in my life.”

McCain, a top GOP voice on matter of foreign policy, has offered similar comments before, but appeared to take them a step further Sunday.

Asked the clarify whether he thought it was a coverup or incompetence, McCain said he didn't know.

"I don't know if it's either coverup or gross -- the worst kind of incompetence, which doesn't qualify the president as commander in chief," McCain said.

McCain even compared the situation to Watergate.

"Somebody said to me the other day, 'This is as bad as Watergate.' Nobody died in Watergate," McCain said.

McCain accused U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice of passing along false information in the days after attack that killed four Americans at the U.S. mission in Benghazi.

"I was slack-jawed when she went through that routine that this was a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a video," McCain said. "We now know there was no demonstration; there was no mob. So how could [the] intelligence community ever reach the conclusion that there was a spontaneous demonstration when there wasn't?"

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · October 28, 2012