Schieffer provided McCain with accountability-free platform to criticize Obama on Iran

››› ››› NATHAN TABAK

Bob Schieffer allowed John McCain to criticize President Obama's response to recent events in Iran but did not note any of the questionable comments McCain has made regarding Iran.

During the June 21 edition of CBS' Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer interviewed Sen. John McCain and discussed his criticism of President Obama's response to recent events in Iran. But at no point during the interview did Schieffer mention any of the questionable comments McCain has made regarding Iran, such as his 2007 response when to a question about when the United States would use military force against Iran: "You know that old Beach Boys song 'Bomb Iran' -- 'bomb, bomb, bomb.' "

During the interview, McCain compared the ongoing protests in Iran to various historical events, including the American Revolution and the Greek revolution of 1823. He said that he'd "like to see the president be stronger than he has been although I appreciate the comments that he made yesterday." He continued: "I think we ought to have America lead. When you look at the statements by [French] President [Nicolas] Sarkozy, [German] Chancellor [Angela] Merkel and [U.K.] Prime Minister [Gordon] Brown have been much stronger." He later added: "I think the president ought to expand this issue beyond just those demonstrators although certainly our hearts and our sympathies goes [sic] out to them and their families."

However, Schieffer did not mention any of the questionable comments McCain has made regarding Iran. For example:

  • At an April 2007 town hall meeting in South Carolina, McCain responded to a question about potential military action against Iran by asking: "You know that old Beach Boys song, 'Bomb Iran?' " He then sang: "Bomb, bomb, bomb -- but anyway." Asked about those comments during a September 2007 radio interview, McCain said he was "proud" of the moment's popularity on YouTube and continued: "Look, when I'm in the company of veterans, which I was, and one of them says to me, 'When are you going to send a message to Iran?' and we're joking around, I'm gonna joke around. And if someone doesn't like it, my advice to them is to lighten up."
  • As Media Matters for America has noted, on three occasions over two days in March 2008, McCain made the false claim that Iranian operatives were training Al Qaeda for fighting in Iraq -- once on March 17 while being interviewed by nationally syndicated radio host Hugh Hewitt and twice during March 18 remarks to reporters in Amman, Jordan. In Jordan, after Sen. Joe Lieberman whispered in McCain's ear, he corrected himself: "I'm sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not Al Qaeda." McCain's presidential campaign subsequently acknowledged the misstatement.
  • In a July 21, 2008, interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC's Good Morning America, McCain referred at one point to "the Iraq-Pakistan border." In fact, Iraq and Pakistan do not share a border -- they are separated by Iran:

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy
Network/Outlet
CBS
Person
Bob Schieffer
Show/Publication
Face the Nation
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