McCain Jokes About Waco, DeLay

By Scott Hogenson | July 7, 2008 | 8:27 PM EDT

( - Arizona Senator John McCain Tuesday made an apparent joke about a fellow Republican in the House at the expense of those who were killed during the federal government's 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.

McCain was a guest on the Don Imus radio program and was discussing his efforts to move campaign finance reform through the Senate when the topic turned to Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) and the congressman's opposition to some components of a campaign finance bill currently being debated in the Senate.

Imus asked McCain, "I wouldn't have been surprised to see Tom DeLay down there at Waco with David Koresh, would you?"

McCain burst into laughter and replied, "well, you know, he's a previous - I think he was an exterminator in a previous life."

DeLay had built a successful pest control business outside of Houston, Tex. before entering politics in 1978.

"I know senators don't like to attack one another, but it is okay to attack people in the House. I think it's fair to say the guy's a kook," responded the host.

Koresh was among nearly 100 people killed when the building in which they were gathered caught fire during the April 19, 1993 raid on Koresh and his followers.

The tear-gassing of the Davidians that day marked the fiery conclusion of a standoff between Koresh and federal police that began on February 28, 1993, and the exact death toll remains a matter of controversy.

DeLay represents the 22nd congressional district of Texas, which covers an area south of Houston.

Read Transcript of McCain-Imus-Waco Remarks