During a speech at the annual Values Voters Summit in Washington, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) severely criticized McCain for supporting former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, and the al-Qaeda-linked militants in Syria.
Gohmert’s criticism was in response to remarks made by McCain in an interview with Fox News where he described Republicans’ efforts to defund President Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, amid a US government shutdown as “a fool’s errand.”
“When it comes to the shutdown that’s going on, I heard just before I came some senator from Arizona, uh, a guy that liked Gaddafi before he wanted to bomb him, a guy that liked Mubarak before he wanted him out, a guy that’s been to Syria and supported al-Qaeda and rebels, but he was saying today the shutdown has been a fool’s errand,” Gohmert said.
Earlier this year, McCain, who is a staunch advocate of US military strikes on Syria, met with militant leaders in the Middle Eastern country.
The Republican senator has even dismissed as “not true” a study by the Foreign Policy magazine that asserts al-Qaeda-affiliated “extremists” increasingly make up the opposition forces in Syria.
“Groups on the more extreme end of the spectrum, particularly those affiliated with al Qaeda, have proven remarkably adept at spreading their military resources across large swathes of territory, joining battles at the pivotal moment, and exploiting their superior organizational structures to establish political control and influence over territory,” read a report published by Foreign Policy in September.
A few days after the report was published, however, McCain told an audience at The Council on Foreign Relations that it was “not true, not true!”