It's not common, particularly in campaign season, to hear straight talk from Washington politicians. But Senator Tom Carper, a Democrat, said what he meant -- and meant what he said -- in response to questions posed during a Bloomberg News event today in New York.
Asked about flaws in the U.S. response, he criticized his colleagues in Congress for using political “scare tactics."
“Some of my colleagues have been shameful in the way, frankly, they’ve manipulated this for purposes that I think we can all understand,” he said. “The way people have just been playing the scare tactics is just, I think, shameful.”
'Boots on the Ground'
Asked if President Barack Obama was being disingenuous in promising not to put "boots on the ground" to combat IS, he agreed: the President may have gone too far.
"If you go back in time, you'll find that presidents in the past have not always been fulling forthcoming: Not just this president, but other presidents," he said. Carper cited George W. Bush, who he said was not completely honest with the American public for reasons that "are unexplainable and unforgivable."
"So this may be an indiscretion -- it is minor compared to what his immediate predecessor engaged in," Carper said.
Asked if getting discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine was an appropriate punishment for Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter, Carper -- a close friend of the Bidens and a former Navy reservist -- did not try to play both sides.
“We have pretty bright lines in terms of what was acceptable and what was unacceptable," Carper said, growing visibly emotional. "And I think he was treated pretty much like anybody else would have been treated."