Charging again to yet another Democrat’s rescue, with all his bi-partisanship and collegiality, John McCain doubled down on DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano’s diplomatic blunder by defending her assertion that the 9/11 highjackers reached the US through Canada.
“Well, some of the 9-11 hijackers did come through Canada, as you know,” McCain, last year’s Republican presidential candidate, said on Fox News on Friday.
The Arizona senator’s remarks prompted the Canadian embassy to immediately reissue remarks made earlier this week by Ambassador Michael Wilson, who reminded Americans once again that no 9-11 perpetrators came to the U.S. via Canada.
“As the 9-11 Commission reported in July 2004, all of the 9-11 terrorists arrived in the U.S. from outside North America. They flew to major U.S. airports. They entered the U.S. with documents issued to them by the U.S. government. No 9-11 terrorists came from Canada.”
Crestfallen embassy officials contacted McCain’s office soon after his Fox News remarks to set the record straight. McCain, an avid supporter of NAFTA and a powerful friend to Canada on Capitol Hill, recently visited the Canadian Embassy and had lunch with Wilson.
McCain, backtracking, then added a gratuitous insult to Mexico in the process…
“The difference, obviously, is, with all due respect to the Mexicans, there’s not corruption on our northern border,” he told Fox News. “And, unfortunately, there is significant corruption, great corruption and drug cartels on our southern border.”
All true, but so much for back-stopping President Obama’s Latin America Apology Tour. And really, no points for piling on in trying to backtrack from a gaffe.
One would think Senator McCain would squander at least as much credibility defending fellow Republicans and policy-makers in the prior Administration from his former opponent’s Victor’s Justice impulses as he would, say, Dick Durbin comparing American soldiers to the Khmer Rouge. Fat chance.
Expect Senator McCain to be front and center in the next Gang-of-[Your Number Here] organized to deflect any Republican “Scorched Earth” response to “Torture Memo” show trials and Congressional Hearings, not to mention absolving his “good friend [insert Democrat Senator’s name here]” for dozing off during the Closed Committee hearings where those interrogation techniques were discussed.