While his side may have won the day in preventing a vote on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) appears to have lost the war with reporters after he loses his temper with two journalists from the gay press challenging him on the extent of investigations of gay servicemembers.
In a video, first posted by the National Review Online, McCain gets very defensive when pushed by Kerry Eleveld of The Advocate and Chris Geidner of Washington, D.C.’s Metro Weekly about the extent of investigations.
Think Progress’ Wonk Room has a transcipt:
MCCAIN: We do not go out and seek. Regulations are, we do not go out and seek to find out if someone’s sexual orientation. We do not!
ELEVELD: But senator, that’s not…
MCCAIN: That is the fact! That is the fact. Now ma’am, I know the military very well, and I know what’s being done. And what is being done is that they are not seeking out people who are gay. And I don’t care what you say, I know it’s a fact.
ELEVELD: It’s not what I say.
MCCAIN: I dont’ care what you say! And I don’t care what others say. I’ve seen it in action. I’ve seen it in action. I have sons in the military, I know the military very well. So they’re not telling you the truth.
ELEVELD: Senator, just to make sure…
MCCAIN: Just to make sure. We do not go out and seek out and find out….
ELEVELD: Private emails are not being searched? Private emails are not being searched?
MCCAIN: …See if someone is gay or not. We do not go out and see whether someone is gay or not.
ELEVELD: There are documented cases…
MCCAIN: They do not, they do not, they do not. You can say that they are, you can say [inaudible] it’s not true!… Yea, I’d like to see…
GEIDNER: It is the case of Mike Almy, Senators.
MCCAIN: Bring them to our office. It is not the policy, it is not the policy, it is not the policy.
GEIDNER: But it is the case that it’s happening, Senator.
MCCAIN: It is not the policy, it is not the policy, it is not the policy You can say that it is the policy, sir if you choose to. It is not the policy. I would be glad to get that to you in writing.
McCain is known for having a short fuse and his unwillingness to respond to the questions posed by Eleveld and Geidner demonstrate how uncomfortable the issue of DADT is for McCain. It’s also nice to see reporters from the LGBT press pushing Senators on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell given the reluctance many reporters have in asking questions on the topic.
One of the nice things about covering Congress is that members can’t avoid talking to reporters after votes and they are forced to be accessible. The fact that NRO had this video suggests that even NRO was expecting a hearty defense of the law, not a nasty McCain firing back at journalists’ questions.
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