McCain pounds Jay Carney over president’s Iraqi blundering: ‘You don’t have the facts!’

Newly-minted CNN commentator Jay Carney took a pounding from Arizona Sen. John McCain Wednesday night, trying to defend his former boss’ withdrawal policy from Iraq.

Making his first appearance as a news analyst, the former White House press secretary was hard pressed to withstand the veteran senator’s fusillade of facts, given that the Vietnam War hero had visited Iraq many times, while the ever-obsequious Carney had merely parroted Obama’s stance in overruling his advisers.

McCain began his broadside by characterizing Obama’s speech as a “very weak argument” to host Anderson Cooper, adding that he “was astounded Mr. Carney should say that the Free Syrian Army is now stronger, in fact, they have been badly, badly damaged.”

Carney denied that, countering that “we know a great deal more now about the makeup of the opposition.”

McCain scoffed at this, saying he had been in Syria. “We knew about them. Come on, you guys were the ones – it’s your boss was the one when the entire national security team wanted to arm and train them that he turned them down, Mr. Carney,” who interjected here that they would have to agree to disagree. But McCain was having none of it.

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“No, facts are stubborn things, Mr. Carney,” he said, “and that is his entire national security team, including the Secretary of State, said he wanted to arm and train and equip these people and he made the unilateral decision to turn them down. The fact he didn’t leave a residual force in Iraq, overruling all of his military advisers, is the reason why we’re facing ISIS today.”

McCain continued that Obama’s contention that America was safer and that the situation resembled those in Yemen and Somalia demonstrated how “the president really doesn’t have a grasp for how serious the threat of ISIS is.”

Watch the video here to see Carney trot out his old press briefing arguments.

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Richard Berkow

Former political news reporter Richard Berkow lost his idealism in the Kennedy years, and his innocence in Vietnam, Lebanon, and the Soviet Union. He hasn’t mellowed since, and can be harassed at [email protected]

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