President Barack Obama should have known Egypt was going to have a revolution, according to the ranking member of the Armed Services committee.
Sen. John McCain told CBS's Bob Schieffer Sunday that the Obama administration didn't do enough to support democracy in Egypt as protesters in the country were calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down.
"We should have seen this coming when the Egyptian government failed to move forward with a process of democratization," McCain began. "The last election was particularly flawed."
"So a lot of this should have been seen. This administration and the liberal left in America viewed Bush's democracy efforts as a way or an excuse to go to war. When president Obama refused to support the people in the streets of Tehran when a young woman bled to death -- named Neda -- before it was a seen by the world and this administration did nothing. That sent a very bad signal to all of these dictatorships."
"What should we have done?" Schieffer asked. "You're not saying we should have gone to war."
"No but we should have spoken up for them just as Ronald Reagan spoke up for the people behind the Iron Curtain, just as throughout our history we have had a fundamental belief and commitment that all of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights," McCain replied.
"I think the president has handled this situation well," he added, seemingly contradicting his earlier statements.
"I think that we need to get a transition that really understands that elections are not the answer. We've had election after election in places that have been meaningless. It is the apparatus. It is the modalities. It is the education of voters. It's all of the things that go to a free and fair election."
The senior senator from Arizona also said that while he had concerns about the Muslim Brotherhood filling the power vacuum in Egypt, the US should be careful to assist the Egyptian people instead of dictating to them.
This video is from CBS's Face the Nation, broadcast Feb. 13, 2011.