McCain Aide Pushes Back On ‘Selective Editing’ Of Town Hall Video

Sen. John McCain’s spokesman on Friday pushed back against what he called the “selective editing” of a news report that showed the Arizona Republican telling the mother of a young man killed in the Aurora, Colo. shooting that she needed some “straight talk” on guns. 

The report from Phoenix’s KTVK, posted Thursday, showed Caren Teves telling McCain about her murdered son Wednesday at a town hall in Phoenix. She urged McCain to support a ban on assault weapons. The video then cut to McCain’s response: “I can tell you right now you need some straight talk. That assault weapons ban will not pass the Congress of the United States.”

But as McCain spokesman Brian Rogers contended, that was only part of the senator’s response. Rogers sent along the raw video showing the senator’s full response. 

“Well first of all could I say thank you, and God bless, and thank you for your service and sacrifice you’ve made. Our hearts and our prayers go out to you and your family,” McCain said in raw video from the event. “And I just had a town hall meeting yesterday in Tucson, and there were people there who were affected by this terrible tragedy of the shooting there. I met with Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords in my office last week on this issue. As you know, they are becoming, understandably, great advocates on this issue. And I will continue that conversation. I can tell you right now you need some straight talk. That assault weapons ban will not pass the Congress of the United States. it won’t.”

Rogers said in a statement to TPM Friday that the news report distorted how McCain responded to Teves. 

“This is an obvious case of selective editing to distort what Senator McCain actually said at Wednesday’s town hall meeting,” Rogers said. “As Senator McCain clearly said, his heart goes out to Mrs. Teves and her family and he is committed to working with members of both parties to try and prevent another senseless tragedy. And as he also said, Arizonans who come to his town hall meetings deserve to hear Senator McCain’s honest opinion about this or any other issue, and the truth is that an assault weapons ban won’t pass this Congress because of opposition from both political parties.”

Watch the video:


David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He’s a native of Minnesota. Reach him at