NEIL CAVUTO: You have been critical of late of Rand Paul, and I think in one line you said he hasn't even been to Syria. So when you hear him say that Hillary Clinton would have really botched it big-time had gotten her way a year ago and we had funded the rebels who were trying to topple Assad, he more or less said I think I got the gist of it, Senator, he said that you would be funding what would be a modern-day ISIS, running Syria today. What did you think of that?
SEN. JOHN McCAIN: I think it's a fundamental lack of understanding of the situation and the threats we face. Sen. Paul has obviously been doing some somersaults as these beheadings took place, and the American people's opinion has shifted rather dramatically. He has even said I met with ISIS, which is patently false. In fact ISIS has called me the number one enemy when I went to Syria and met with these brave young men, some of whom are dead now. So, it's -- I think it's kind of a desperation kind of trying to find some footing here as he slides down a very steep slope of credibility.
CAVUTO: Do you think he is trying to just divorce himself from his more libertarian roots, his fathers roots, with a no interventionist police that isn't going jibe well in a presidential run, this is all political?
McCAIN: I don't know. It's very clear that he has presidential ambitions.
CAVUTO: Do you think he would be a good commander in chief?
McCAIN: Not on national security, no. Nor did I believe his father would, either. He is dramatically shifted his positions on national security. He said we shouldn't intervene, no matter what, anywhere, And now obviously he wants to take out ISIS. Well, if you want to take out ISIS you have to take certain measures and that means serious American involvement...
I don't think he understands the nature of the threat, and I don't think he understands how serious it is and how, if we allow them to continue to metastasize and control a territory the size of the state of Indiana, with hundreds of millions of dollars, equipment, and now attracting thousands from all over the world, much less the Middle East, that they do, as our intelligence experts has told us, pose a direct threat to the United States. We can't wait until there's another attack.
CAVUTO: Do you trust Senator Paul:
McCAIN: It's not a matter of trust. It''s matter of whether I agree or disagree with his view of the role of America in the world, just as I disagreed with his father's views.
CAVUTO: No, I'm saying, do you trust he has a grasp on matters of war, basic matters of foreign policy or is he out of his element?
McCAIN: I don't think he has -- certainly not my view. I don't think that he has a good grasp of the nature of the threat that we are facing here. It enormous, in fact it was Secretary Hagel himself who said we haven't seen anything like this. This is a fundamental threat to the security of the United States, which, again, is not just my opinion. That's the director of Homeland Security.