CNN Political Analyst Slimes McCain as 'Cowardly' for Skipping Iraq Vote

On the Friday edition of "The Situation Room," CNN political analyst Donna Brazile slammed 2008 presidential candidate John McCain as "cowardly" for his decision to skip the Senate’s non-binding vote on President Bush’s troop surge plan in Iraq. Brazile, who discussed the issue with host Wolf Blitzer and conservative commentator William Bennett, described the Arizona Senator’s decision as "an insult." She then proceeded to label the Vietnam veteran, who spent five and a half years in the "Hanoi Hilton" prison camp, as "cowardly" for not returning to Washington on Saturday for the vote:

Donna Brazile: "I think it's an insult not to come and show up for a vote. This is a very important debate. And, for Senator McCain, who has been a staunch supporter of the President's plan, he should come and put up or shut up. But to -- to run away from the debate, and to say that this is meaningless is -- is -- is, in my judgment, cowardly."

Brazile, in addition to being an analyst for CNN, is also the former campaign manager for Al Gore’s 2000 run for the White House.

A transcript of the relevant transcript, which aired at 4:51pm on February 16, follows:


Wolf Blitzer: "Well, Bill, what do you think of Senator McCain's decision, apparently, unless he changes his mind overnight, not to come back and vote tomorrow on this procedural vote in the U.S. Senate? It looks like all the other senators who are campaigning for president will be back in Washington for that vote."

William Bennett: "Well, there are people who believe, like Senator McCain and like Rudy Giuliani said the other day, this is not what the Senate or the House is paid to do. The Senate and the House is paid to come up with actions, with plans, with resolutions, and to stand behind them with conviction, not to offer symbolic gestures which feed only the enemies of the United States."

Donna Brazile: "I think it's an insult not-"

Blitzer: "All right. Donna, go ahead.

Donna Brazile: "I think it's an insult not to come and show up for a vote. This is a very important debate. And, for Senator McCain, who has been a staunch supporter of the President's plan, he should come and put up or shut up. But to -- to run away from the debate, and to say that this is meaningless is -- is -- is, in my judgment, cowardly."


Blitzer: "All right."

Bennett: "John McCain knows the difference between the real and the symbolic."

Blitzer: " We will -- we will see what happens, see if he does show up tomorrow. Right now, apparently, he is planning on staying out on the campaign trail. Donna Brazile, Bill Bennett, thanks to both of you."

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org