John McCain said Sunday that Oklahoma senator Tom Coburn, who has announced his plans to retire early next year, should succeed General Eric Shinseki as secretary of veterans affairs.
“I think he’d be the best and he’s going to kill me for saying that,” the Arizona senator told CBS News’ Bob Schieffer. McCain said that Coburn, who is a physician, is the lawmaker most knowledgeable about health care.
McCain called Shinseki a “great man” and a patriot and said it was with great reluctance that he called for the general’s resignation. “It’s the fact that they’ve lost the confidence of the veterans, that’s the key to this,” McCain said.
The senator was also critical of the prisoner swap that led to the release of Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, calling the five Taliban leaders exchanged to secure his freedom “big, high-level people, possibly responsible for the deaths of thousands.”
“It’s disturbing to me that the Taliban are the ones who have named the people who are being released,” he said.