While many Republicans, including Texas’ John Cornyn, attacked the president for his “shameful failure” remarks over the Senate’s dereliction to pass a bipartisan compromise on background checks, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Thursday defended President Obama’s speech. McCain was one of just six Republicans who voted for the background check legislation.
In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, McCain expressed sympathy for Obama, who had been visibly shaken by December’s elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and said he felt compelled to act.
“I’m very familiar with the issue, but I understand how the president felt very strongly,” McCain said. “He was in Newtown. He feels the suffering of the families, and I can certainly understand, given his point of view, why the president got somewhat emotional.”
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The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.