McCain: Obama ‘directly responsible’ for Orlando shooting

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. John McCain said Thursday that President Barack Obama is “directly responsible” for the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, because of the rise of the Islamic State group on the president’s watch.

McCain, who lost to Obama in the 2008 presidential election, made the comment Thursday while Obama was in Orlando visiting with the families of those killed in Sunday’s attack and some of the survivors.

“Barack Obama is directly responsible for it, because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaida went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures, utter failures, by pulling everybody out of Iraq,” a visibly angry McCain told reporters in the Capitol as the Senate debated a spending bill.

“So the responsibility for it lies with President Barack Obama and his failed policies,” McCain said.

The gunman, Omar Mateen, killed 49 people and injured more than 50 in the attack at a gay nightclub. The 29-year-old Muslim born in New York made calls during the attack saying he was a supporter of the Islamic State. But he also spoke about an affiliate of al-Qaida and Hezbollah, both of which are IS enemies.

In the aftermath of the shooting, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has accused Obama of putting U.S. enemies ahead of Americans. Trump also has suggested that Obama himself might sympathize with radical elements.

Democrats criticized Trump and some Republicans tried to distance themselves from his remarks.

McCain is seeking a sixth Senate term from Arizona and is locked in a tight race.

Questioned on his startling assertion, McCain repeated it: “Directly responsible. Because he pulled everybody out of Iraq, and I predicted at the time that ISIS would go unchecked and there would be attacks on the United States of America. It’s a matter of record, so he is directly responsible.”

Democrats quickly pounced on McCain’s criticism.

Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said McCain’s “unhinged comments are just the latest proof that Senate Republicans are puppets of Donald Trump.”

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  • Walter

    Wait, how does McCain manage to blame Obama for Omar Mateen’s insanity? Because ISIS didn’t order this to happen. Mateen was not connected with ISIS, or any other terrorist group, despite what he said on the phone in the 911 calls. Nobody has been able to connect him with the Middle East at all apart from his ethnic heritage. The man was insane, and nothing that was going on in his head had any connection to reality at all! THAT was the direct cause of this tragedy, not Obama, not ISIS, not homophobia, not racism, not religious persecution, not guns or gun laws.

    WAKE UP! Crazy people do crazy things that don’t make any sense! Why do you think you hear the news reporters after every single one of these events saying “People here are just trying to make some sense of it all”??? It is because it doesn’t make any sense, and it doesn’t make any sense because these people are batshift crazy!!! Why isn’t Obama clamoring for mental health reform? Why is it gun law reform? Does he think that taking forks away from people will cause them not to be fat? You have got to address the fact that dangerous lunatics are out there, and that we can either live with the possibility that these things can happen to anyone at any time, or we can start locking these psychopaths up. Those are the only options, and making no decision on one or the other defaults to the first one. THAT is what Obama is doing by making this a gun issue! He is by default, leaving all these psychos out on the streets to do what they please ot the rest of society. Take away all the guns, they will use bombs like they did in Oklahoma City. Or knives. Or fire. Or chemicals. Because they will still be freely roaming about in public.