The reigning US Senate war hawk flew into controversy on Thursday after accusing President Barack Obama of being “directly responsible” for the terror attack at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
This controversy comes on the heels of statements made by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, which suggested the US President shares a secret allegiance with Middle East terror groups that prevents him from tying terrorism to “radical Islam.”
“Barack Obama is directly responsible for it, because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaeda went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures,” McCain said.
The Republican that once considered himself a moderate and a ‘maverick’ has recently drifted further to the right in an attempt to shore up electoral support ahead of a closely contested primary election. Recent polls also show the five-term senator narrowly losing his reelection effort to Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick.
Political pundits appear to hold the longtime statesman to a higher standard than the reality television show-inspired campaign ran by Donald Trump, with furious controversy erupting immediately following the Arizona Senator’s comments.
Realizing the inefficacy of associating a sitting US President with genocidal terror cults stuck in the 7th century, the prominent Republican senator quickly retracted his statement, issuing several Tweets and a press release acknowledging that he “misspoke.”
“I misspoke. I did not mean to imply that the President was personally responsible. I was referring to President Obama’s national security decisions, not the President himself. As I have said, President Obama’s decision to completely withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011 led to the rise of ISIL,” McCain said.
“I and others have long warned that the failure of the President’s policy to deny ISIL safe haven would allow the terrorist organization to inspire, plan, direct or conduct attacks on the United States and Europe as they have done in Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino and now Orlando.”