Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) argued Sunday in an appearance on CNN that the Boston Marathon bombings disprove Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) views on terror.
CNN host Candy Crowley asked McCain to respond to Paul’s claim that National Security Agency surveillance programs constitute an “assault on the constitution.”
“Right,” McCain replied. “Just prior to the Boston bombing, he said the battlefield was no longer in America.”
McCain referred to a March interview with Fox News in which Paul criticized the President’s drone program.
“It’s different overseas than it will be here,” Paul had told Fox News. “Which gets precisely to the argument I have with some other Republicans who say, ‘Well, the battlefield is everywhere, there is no limitation.’ President Obama says this. Some members of my party say the battle has no geographic limitations and the laws of war apply. It’s important to know that the law of war that they’re talking about means no due process.”
When Crowley asked McCain if he thought Paul was “naive” about the threat, McCain said that both Republicans and Democrats on the intelligence committee had been “very well briefed” on the NSA programs. “If members of Congress did not know what they were voting on, then I think that’s their responsibility a lot more than it is the government’s,” he said.
Watch McCain’s full interview with Candy Crowley here.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.