GOP Operative Releases 2014 Clip Of McCain Calling Slotkin "Unqualified" For Defense Post; Slotkin Campaign Says It Is "Page Out Of A Tired Playbook"
May 14, 2018
While criticism continues both within and from outside the Republican Party about a comment from a Trump Administration official concerning Arizona Senator John McCain, the campaign of Congressman Mike Bishop is using Senator McCain’s own words to attack their main Democratic rival.
Last week, former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis issued a release and video clip of comments made by McCain at a December 2, 2014 confirmation hearing for Slotkin as assistant defense secretary for international security affairs. In the video, McCain questions Slotkin about the strategy the Obama Administration planned to implement in its fight against ISIS. At the end of the exchange, McCain says she is “totally unqualified” and tells Slotkin at one point, "either you don't know the truth or you are not telling the truth to this committee." He then put a hold on her nomination, forcing it to be set aside. Slotkin would not be confirmed for that post in the remainder of her entire time at the Department of Defense. Anuzis said that, “Shady Elissa Slotkin was not fit for her job in the Defense Department. John McCain called her totally unqualified and questioned her ability to tell the truth."
In response, Mela Louise Norman, Slotkin Campaign Manager, said that, “Slotkin has the utmost respect for Senator McCain. He has a remarkable record of service and is a respected statesman who sets the example for putting service and country over party politics.” She added that, “Our current Congressman could learn a thing or two from the standard he sets.” Norman said Slotkin, “is happy to talk about her record on national security with the Republican Party, Rep Bishop, or anyone else. Elissa joined the CIA after 9/11 and served three tours in Iraq alongside the U.S. military. She worked for over a decade in top national security roles under both Republican and Democratic administrations at the White House, the Office of the Director for National Intelligence, and at the Pentagon. Norman said it was, “obvious that Rep. Bishop is facing the toughest election of his career and he is making every attempt to minimize a strong opponent who he knows will pose a formidable challenge,” calling the attacks, “a page out of a tired playbook, and show that despite nearly twenty years in politics, Rep. Bishop doesn't actually have a strong record to run on.”
Last week’s release by Anuzis came the day before it was reported that White House aide Kelly Sadler said in a private meeting that it didn't matter whether Senator McCain opposed President Trump’s nominee to be CIA Director "because he's dying anyway." McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer. There has been no official apology from either Sadler or the White House to the comment, which has drawn sharp criticism from both sides of the aisle. (JK)