Sen. McCain Suggests Muslims Are "Not Exactly Who We Would Like" Fighting Gaddafi

May 31, 2011 12:21 pm ET — Walid Zafar

During an interview with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was asked about his support for the Libyan opposition despite reports that extremist elements had joined the fight against Muammar Gaddafi. McCain defended the opposition, but noted that "some people who are Muslim or, you know, not exactly who we would like" are fighting against Gaddafi.

WALLACE: Now, another aspect that you call for is that you continue to say that the U.S. should recognize the rebels' National Council as the legitimate government of Libya. Defense Secretary Gates continues to say that there is an extremist elements [sic] among the opposition.

MCCAIN: Well, I would say to Secretary Gates, as you know, I have great admiration for Secretary Gates, but I would say, "Secretary, the best way to get extremist elements in the lead, amongst the rebels there, the liberation forces, is a stalemate." That's the way extremists come in to power. Look, these people are, a professor at University of Washington, he's their finance minister. Guy with doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. Are there some people who are Muslim or, you know, not exactly who we would like, in this fight? Of course. But the reason why they're in the fight is because they hate Gaddafi.