Updated Oct 3, 2012 - 1:14 pm
McCain: No surprise if suspects turn out to be drug cartel
As the nation mourns the murder of Border Patrol agent Nicholas Ivie, Arizona Sen. John McCain said he would not be surprised if the suspects, whenever they are apprehended, are involved with drug cartels in some way.
"It wouldn't surprise me if this was a bunch of drug people who were transporting drugs," he told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR's Mac & Gaydos on Tuesday.
McCain was very clear in stating that he is not making any assumptions about the suspects, but simply that he would not be stunned to see that they are involved with a cartel, given the area's notoriety for drug activity.
McCain went on to say that he believes it is a federal responsibility to ensure both the integrity of the border and the safety of its agents and citizens that patrol and live in border regions.
"We still have a very serious problem with drug cartels running drugs up through the mountains of Arizona, being guided by people on the mountains of Arizona, up to Phoenix and distribute [drugs] throughout the country," he said.
While McCain apologized for the issue being politicized by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, he accused former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano of doing the same.
"I can tell you that our former governor politicizes it by blaming Republicans all the time for a variety of things," he said.
Overall, McCain called the death a time for mourning and said the families of the victims deserve to know the circumstances of what happened.