MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski and Pat Buchanan talked with John Ridley about John McCain's coincidental trip to Columbia at the same time hostages were released. Implying that McCain's campaign may have had foreknowledge of the release, Ridley said that the timing was "fortuitous" and "very convenient right before the Fourth of July."

Partial transcript

RIDLEY: Quickly one quote from the same article about the shakeup in the McCain campaign, they talk about why McCain went to Colombia. One of the strategists said "It's simple. McCain says he wants to go to these places. We say, 'of course.'" So McCain just decided he wanted to be in Colombia, very fortuitous on this day an amazing rescue happened.

BRZEZINSKI: I sense a little cynicism.

RIDLEY: Even his own handlers don't know why he wants to go.

BUCHANAN: Those guys going in there, the rebels had suspected something, they killed the hostages, if it was a bloody mess, then Mccain would have been blamed for it.

RIDLEY: Unless they knew that it was not going to be a failure. That's all i'm saying.

BUCHANAN: You're implying that they bought off the rebels?

RIDLEY: Listen. All i'm saying is we see what happens in Iraq. We're not going to negotiate with terrorists. We're not going to negotiate with these kidnappers. Then, for some reason, they are released and let go. I want to make very clear, these people come home, individuals been kidnapped, I couldn't be happier however they get home. But we know that back-channel negotiations and things happen. We know that John McCain was down there fortuitously. We know he had someone on his staff who was a lobbyist. It just seems all very convenient right before the Fourth of July.


BUCHANAN: We'll let that sit out there.

RIDLEY: I think we can all agree the fact that they're home is really good news.

BRZEZINSKI: To add to your point, "The New York Times" says it is a "happy coincidence."

This video is from MSNBC's Morning Joe, broadcast July 3, 2008.

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