McCain charges U.S. lost ‘credibility’ on Egypt

John McCain is pictured. | AP Photo

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By JONATHAN TOPAZ | 

8/18/13 9:19 AM EDT
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The United States has “no credibility” in the Middle East due to the Obama administration’s inaction in Egypt, Sen. John McCain said Sunday.

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The administration previously threatened to cut off aid if there was a coup in Egypt, the Arizona Republican said, but has refused to honor that promise. “We could be cutting off the aid,” as well as cutting off economic assistance, tourism and exports, he said, but the administration is “not sticking to our values.”.

McCain has just visited Egypt in an effort to broker an agreement between military leaders and supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. While there, he said he wanted to give the military generals an opportunity to get on the “path to democracy.”

(Also on POLITICO: Graham: Egypt at risk of becoming failed state)

But after last week’s violence, he said, “for us to sit by and watch this happen is a violation of everything we stood for.” And he accused the interim regime of preaching “anti-Americanism.”

McCain drew a comparison to President Barack Obama’s rhetoric on Egypt to his “red line” vow about Syria, in which he pledged action if Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons on his own people.

Asked by CNN host Candy Crowley if the president had been weak in the Middle East, McCain said, “There is no policy. And there is no strategy.”

“We are much more hated and much less respected than we were in 2009,” in the Middle East region, McCain said.