Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Friday on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” that White House press secretary Josh Earnest was an “idiot,” before retracting it almost immediately.
McCain’s comments were made in reference to a statement Earnest gave about the country’s approach to fighting the Islamic State.
“Of course my most unfavorite is this idiot Earnest saying ‘Well, we’re not gonna set our hair on fire every time there’s a setback,’” McCain said. “Mr. Earnest may not, but bodies are on fire on the streets of Ramadi as we are speaking. This is an evil.”
McCain also criticized President Obama for saying “We’re not losing.”
“Generally speaking, Presidents don’t say ‘We’re not losing,’” McCain said. “They usually should say ‘We have a strategy to win.’”
McCain did take back the statement when questioned by host Bill Hemmer.
“Well, listen I’ll retract that,” he said. “It’s infuriating though to hear someone say ‘Well, every time there’s a setback we’re gonna set our hair on fire.’ That betrays everything that America believes in and stands for.”
Earnest’s comments, which McCain took issue with, were made on Tuesday.
“Are we gonna light our hair on fire every time that there is a setback in the campaign against ISIL? Or are we gonna take very seriously our responsibility to evaluate those areas where we succeed and evaluate where steps are necessary for us to change our strategy where we’ve sustained setbacks?”
Watch the video below, from The Hill: