McCain: Sending Cigarettes to Iran One Way to Kill Them

By: E&P Staff

John McCain on Tuesday reacted to am Associated Press report of rising U.S. cigarette exports to Iran by saying that may be “a way of killing ’em.”

Although most in the media later portrayed this as a mere jest, Time magazine’s Karen Tumulty, who was at the meeting with the press, observed that McCain only said he was joking after his wife nudged him.

The Reuters report noted: “McCain, known for acerbic comments and for sometimes firing verbally from the hip, was responding to a report that U.S. exports to Iran rose tenfold during President George W. Bush’s term in office despite hostility between the two states. A rise in cigarette sales was a big part of that, according to an Associated Press analysis of seven years of U.S. trade figures.

“‘Maybe that’s a way of killing ’em,’ McCain said to reporters during a campaign stop in Pittsburgh. ‘I meant that as a joke, as a person who hasn’t had a cigarette in 28 years, 29 years,’ he added, laughing.”

McCain once sang “Bomb bomb Iran” to the tune of the old Beach Boys classic, “Barbara Ann.”

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