WASHINGTON – Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, who often invokes former President Ronald Reagan, had an almost Reaganesque moment this week — a hostage rescue.
Hours after McCain left Colombia, where he had spent the day pushing free trade, that country’s president Alvaro Uribe revealed the military had freed several hostages, including three Americans, long held captive by the militant group FARC.
Just minutes after Reagan took office in 1981, coincidentally, the American hostages in Iran were released.
Sadly for those conspiracy theorists wondering whether McCain had a role in the Colombia rescue or was tipped off about it before he arrived in the country, signs suggest otherwise.
McCain said in a statement that he had been briefed by Uribe the day before the operation and that the two later spoke about it.
“He told me some of the details of the dramatic rescue of the people who were held hostage,” McCain said.
While the United States helped with some aspects of the operation, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino denied any suggestion that McCain was advised by his fellow Republicans in the Bush administration.
“I think this was long in the planning stages,” she told reporters. I’ve heard nothing to suggest that there was any connection,” she told reporters. “I just think it was coincidence.”
Photo credit: Reuters/Jose Gomez (McCain and Uribe at news conference July 1)