WASHINGTON -- Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) tore into President Barack Obama's picks for ambassadorships on Thursday, calling the president's nominees "clueless" and "ignorant" in a Fox News interview.
McCain, telling Fox's Greta Van Susteren he plans to oppose Obama's nominees in the Senate, singled out the president's picks for U.S. ambassadors to Norway and Argentina.
“These are very important countries and we’re sending people that one, have never been there, but second of all, are clueless," McCain said.
George Tsunis, a top Obama campaign fundraising bundler and the president's pick for Norway, referred to the Norwegian "president" during his Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in January. Norway is a constitutional monarchy.
Noah Bryson Mamet, the president's pick for Argentina, is "incredibly unqualified," McCain said. Mamet, also an Obama bundler, has never visited Argentina.
“It’s kind of entertaining and amusing how ignorant these people are, never having seen the country," McCain said. "But it’s also really disturbing because it’s a disservice to our country to send that kind of unqualified candidate to represent us and our interest there in these countries.”
McCain did cut Obama some slack, admitting "every president's done this, I understand that, it's part of the game." But he said he expected more of a president who campaigned on "hope and change."
Criticism of Obama nominees has come from both sides of the aisle. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has called on Obama to break the longstanding trend of tapping former corporate lawyers for judicial positions, expressing disappointment in the "striking lack of diversity" of Obama's choices.
"Power is becoming more and more concentrated on one side," Warren said. "Professional diversity is one way to insulate the courts from corporate capture."