During an appearance on conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt’s program, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona shot back at comments President Barack Obama made comparing Republicans to anti-American Iranians.
“I think the president has demeaned and cheapened the office of the presidency by that kind of comment. It seems that his M.O. is to attack to those who disagree and characterize their opposition, which I believe is the — what political arena is all about. People with differing opinions and debating and discussing it before the American people,” McCain said.
Obama’s comments at American University in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 5 drew the ire of many in the Republican Party for the president’s broad characterization of the GOP in comparison to Iranians who oppose the U.S.
“Just because Iranian hard-liners chant ‘Death to America’ does not mean that’s what all Iranians believe. In fact, it’s those hard-liners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hard-liners chanting ‘Death to America’ who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus,” the president said.
The commander in chief defended the Democrats in Congress who have also objected to the Iranian deal.
“There are going to be some Democrats who end up opposing this deal, partly because, as I said yesterday in the speech, the affinity that we all feel towards the state of Israel is profound, it’s deep. The difference though, is that most of the Democratic senators have taken the time to actually read the bill and listen to the arguments. A sizable proportion of the Republicans were opposed before the ink was even dry on the deal,” Obama said.
McCain continued his criticism of the president’s comments.
“I think he is now obviously paints us people who are like the hard-liners in Tehran who sang ‘Death to America. Death to Israel.’ That’s not presidential,” he added.