McCain aide accuses 3TV of a 'bad edit'

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A spokesman for Sen. John McCain on Monday said 3TV didn't tell the whole story when it showed the former Republican presidential nominee tell a grieving mother that she needed some "straight talk."

The station aired a story last week that showed McCain taking a question from a woman whose 24-year-old son was shot and killed last summer in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater.

Phoenix resident Caren Teves wanted to know if McCain supported a potential ban on the same type of assault weapon that killed her son and 11 others in July.

The original story that aired Wednesday showed McCain telling Teves, "I can tell you right now you need some straight talk. That assault weapons ban will not pass the Congress of the United States."

Since then, McCain has been criticized by some national media organizations as being insensitive to a woman who just lost her son.

But Brian Rogers, a spokesman for McCain, said the station left a lot of McCain's comments out of the story. That, he said, made the longtime Arizona senator look bad.

Here is McCain's entire response to the question from Teves:

"Well first of all could I say thank you, and God bless, and thank you for your service and sacrifice you've made. Our hearts and our prayers go out to you and your family," McCain said in raw video from the event. "And I just had a town hall meeting yesterday in Tucson, and there were people there who were affected by this terrible tragedy of the shooting there. I met with Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords in my office last week on this issue. As you know, they are becoming, understandably, great advocates on this issue. And I will continue that conversation. I can tell you right now you need some straight talk. That assault weapons ban will not pass the Congress of the United States. It won't."

3TV has also been criticized by national media outlets, including Fox News, for the way it presented McCain's comments.

The station issued the following statement Monday afternoon:

"The story which originally aired on Wednesday, February 20th discussed McCain's recent town hall meetings where he addressed constituent questions regarding immigration reform and gun control. Due to timing constraints, a cordial exchange between an Aurora shooting victim's mother and Senator McCain was edited down. During the editing process sound from both the woman asking the question and Senator McCain was trimmed.

In an effort of full disclosure the entire raw video was placed on our website,, immediately after the story aired along with a written description of the encounter that characterized Senator McCain as "sympathizing" with the victim's mother.

You can see the full article here including the raw video of the exchange.

Raw video: Sen. McCain's response to grieving mother's gun law question

Again, we thank you for your comments regarding this story."

Regardless, Teves said she was offended by McCain's comments.

"Honestly, I felt it was very disrespectful, that I had just lost my son and that what I needed was some straight talk I've never been talked to like that in my life," she said.

Teves' husband, Tom, was a longtime supporter of McCain going all the way back to his first run for president in 2000.

The couple are also strong supporters of the Second Amendment but support a ban on assault rifles.

"I was a little upset when they talked to my wife that way. That's not how you talk to a grieving woman, I mean show some humanity," Tom Teves said of McCain's response to his wife.