While fellow Republicans are making comparisons to Watergate and even calling for impeachment, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) declined to back that spin on the Obama administration's response to the Benghazi attacks.
"I don't think this is the equivalent of Watergate or Iran-Contra," he told MSNBC's Martin Bashir on Tuesday. "There's a big difference when literally somebody in the White House was ordering these things. This is not something anyone ordered; this is not an outcome anybody intended."
Cole said he disagreed with Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who floated the idea that President Barack Obama could be impeached over an alleged Benghazi "cover-up."
Still, Cole said, "It's serious. I mean, four Americans are dead."
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) have all compared Benghazi to Watergate. Over the course of the Obama administration, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and other top Republicans have made numerous comparisons to the Nixonian scandal.
On Sunday, however, McCain declined to back impeachment over Benghazi.
"With all due respect, I think this is a serious issue," he said on ABC's "This Week." "I will even give the president the benefit of the doubt on some of these things. We need a select committee."
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) also indicated Sunday, on CNN's "State of the Union," that the talk of impeaching the president went too far.