Sen. John McCain (R – AZ) has never been very good at handling not getting his way in votes on the floor of the Senate, but today lashed out in a rage after Sen. Rand Paul (R – KY) blocked his bid for unanimous consent on Montenegro joining NATO, declaring that Rand Paul “is now working for Vladimir Putin.”
McCain sought to avoid any resistance to the effort by saying that only Vladimir Putin could reject Montenegro’s NATO membership, and suggesting anyone who didn’t give him the result he wanted was doing Putin’s bidding. Sen. Paul quickly stood up, voiced his objection, and left.
McCain was livid, making the declaration, and insisting that the fact that Paul voiced his objection and left without elaborating proved that he had no good reason for doing so, insisting no Senator could have a problem with tiny Montenegro joining NATO.
Sen. Paul did issue a statement explaining his opposition, however, saying the US is already engaged militarily in dozens of countries, and has pledged to defend 28 NATO members military as well, saying he believes it is unwise for the debt-ridden US to take on more military obligations.
It is possible that Sen. McCain could face censure from the Senate for “impugning the motive of a colleague,” which the statement undoubtedly amounts to. McCain’s office already issued a “clarification” that removed the allegation and instead asked for a reasoning why “brave” Montenegro was denied from “joining in the defense of the free world.” The Senate leadership has not yet said if McCain faces any further reprimand, though this is certainly not his first time going off the rails on the floor when he didn’t get his way.