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September 13th, 2012
10:51 AM ET

Sen. John McCain: Protest 'virus' likely to spread & U.S. must be 'careful and measured' in response to Egypt, Libya

Senator John McCain (R-AZ), ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, weighs in on the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Libya and on the unrest in Egypt.

“I was glad to hear President [Mohamed] Morsy condemned these attacks,” McCain says of the Egyptian president’s response to the protests outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. But, McCain adds that the U.S. should be able to demand certain responsibilities from the Egyptian government.

“They have a pretty big army and they could have protected our embassy,” the Republican senator adds. “It’s understandable why colleagues and friends of mine and Americans are very upset. But, I also would like to point out again that Egypt is critical and we have to be very careful and measured in our response.”

The Arizona senator also argues that the U.S. needs to continue to offer support to Libya. “They need our assistance, not our money,” he says. “Yes we are [helping them]. We need to train their police and military, but again it’s not expenditure of American tax dollars, it’s providing the kind of assistance that any country that is forming up after being the subject of a brutal dictatorship for so many years.”

McCain also addresses the controversy over GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's statement on Libya, which has received criticism for its timing.

"The tick-tock back and forth is something, frankly, I didn't pay attention to, but I do know this, that Americans are outraged when our embassy is attacked and the Egyptian government does not take the proper measures to protect it," McCain says.

When pressed on the point, McCain jokes, "the one thing I don't do, because I'm the advise people. You don't want a loser to advise."

Filed under: Egypt • Libya • Politics
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Todd C. Bobo

    It seems that the world is rapidly coming to an explosion point. The makers of the movie, "Innocence of Islam" manipulated the system, and this can only be a bid to foment violence and dissension. The disappointment is that leaders in the Arab world first must weigh in on how the film is an insulat and an assault to the prophet. I am all for peace, coexistence, and dialogue, but on some level, these people do not think as we do. And there is a jump from verbal insult to violence, incomprhensible in the West.
    Add to this mix the possibility if not the likelihood that Israel may attack Iran over the development of nuclear weapons. It is a very dangerous world, and America does not need to be the policeman of the world!

    September 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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