September 8th, 2012
07:45 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain calls out Obama over Syria, again

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain, a consistent critic of U.S. inaction regarding the civil war in Syria, on Saturday again blasted the Obama administration's handling of the crisis in an interview with CNN.

He was speaking at the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy, an annual conference bringing together political leaders from around the globe.

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McCain did not advocate sending U.S. troops into the battles, but said he supported the U.S. using a model similar to the way the United States handled an uprising in Libya in 2011. "Get them arms and weapons so it is a fair fight," he said.

"First, voice your moral support the way Ronald Reagan did for the people behind the iron curtain," McCain said in an interview with CNN's Nina Dos Santos. "Second get them the weapons so it's a fair fight. Third establish a sanctuary or free zone where they can organize.”

McCain criticized the line in the sand drawn by Obama as giving Syrian President Bashar al-Assad too much leeway.

"This president unbelievably announced that if Bashar (al-)Assad used chemical weapons, he'd have crossed a red line," McCain said. "Isn't he also telling Bashar (al-)Assad he can do anything up to that?"

He has previously called Obama's handling of the situation "shameful."

Among the other Americans attending the forum were Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-South Carolina; Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut; Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and former Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge, as well as several academics from schools including Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Filed under: 2012 • John McCain • Syria
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. BobinCO

    Sell a house and fund it first, you old fool.

    September 8, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  2. w l jones

    The president is president of all the people and not just one...person advice. Said enough.

    September 8, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    mcnasty, you gave us the biggest joke in the world and you still can't tell the truth about your HUGE mistake.
    Go home, sit in your rocking chair and please be quiet. There's NOTHING you can say that is worth a penny.
    The economy is strong, she has a wonderful family.
    Maybe the twit should send his five non serving sons who were too busy running a failed campaign but had time to serve their cult!

    September 8, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  4. stars

    Regan didnt kill the man behind the curtain Obama did old senile man.

    September 8, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  5. Nancy Stagner

    Why in the world would John McCain advocate support for another war – he may be saying just arms, etc. but what he is recommending is a commitment for another war. From Vietnam to Afghanistan to Iraq – when will we learn that we cannot go into another country and change their
    cultural with war.

    September 8, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. sameeker

    With the war over in Iraq and winding down in Afghanistan, Halliburton is in need of more profits. Count on the GOP to get us in another war there. Obama does not want us involved in a war where both sides hate us. It is a losing proposition. I'll stick with Obama on this one.

    September 8, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  7. Brian

    Or here is a novel idea. Let's mind our own business for a change. Syria isn't a fight we can win no matter what side comes out on top. McCain needs to study some 20th century history and realize that every rebel group we supported ended up being our adversary in the long run. Ho Chi Minh ring a bell? The Taliban? It's already happening in Libya.

    September 8, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    "First, voice your moral support the way Ronald Reagan did for the people behind the iron curtain,"

    Good God. McCain can't possibly be suggesting Mitt Romney will be the next Ronald Reagan, can he? Dammit Arizona, will you retire this man before he starts WWIII with his ignorant rants and visions of delusion.

    What a relief it is this man John McCain never became president. And look who wants to replace him? Another cold war monger calling himself Mitt Romney. Scarey stuff these Republicans are throwing out there. Very scary, indeed.

    September 8, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  9. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Is anybody really listening to all of this "sour grapes" stuff. After 4 years, enough all ready!

    September 8, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  10. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    Are these guys warmongers or what ??? Romney sign up your five draftdoger sons and tell them to take the coward lyin Ryan with them ,they should take you too .maybe you could be a general , na, never mind ego manic

    September 8, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  11. canadianscot

    Warmonger. You can bet your boots if Mittens is elected it will be the beginning of WWIII. Russia and China and Iran against the West. N Korea will invade S Korea with China's help to tie up the US military on that side of the world

    September 8, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  12. normajean @ verizon ,com


    September 8, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  13. Pete

    McCain,go back home bud,you're getting delushional,you're not in the Hanoi Hilton get that you're home..Quit starting battles yah just can't finish,we know you want war don't ya,most of your republican buddies do to,like Bush it made them wealthy didn't it,ask Cheney,Halliburtons never been greener!!We'll help without wasting lives,get that,use your head instead of using a gun,its called diplomacy or you send in Special Ops and take his ass out,OK,now calm down take your blood pressure pills!!

    September 8, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  14. Doyle Wiley, MI

    McCain it is not the U.S. job to force our will on every country on the planet. You could direct your commits to the United Nations, after all that is why we have a United Nations.

    September 8, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  15. maf

    Yikes! What is John McCain doing at a conference in Italy presenting himself as a political leader???
    John, you got dusted in foreign policy by President Obama! President Obama is a calm, astute, lethal leader, who knows when and when not to put Americans in harms way!!
    Keep your big trap shut!!
    You and Romney are going to do more harm in the run up to the November election than any two men have a right to.


    September 8, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  16. Tony in Maine

    Whatever happened to that old bit of CW – criticism of the administrations foreign policy stops at the high tide mark on THIS side of the ocean.

    Maybe John McCain and Clint Eastwood could be roomates at the Golden Sands Nursing Home.

    September 8, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  17. GI Joe

    That old fool doesn't care who, why, when or where. He just loooooooovvvveeeesssss WAR.

    How ya gonna pay for it you old fool?

    September 8, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  18. JomoDaMusicMan

    If Obama becomes silly enough to let McCain gloat him & America into another Civil Disputes or War in the Middle East then he doesn't deserve my vote for re election. I know the Prez should see where McCain is coming from. He and his War Hawks would do any & everything including tricks to get American involved in another conflict especially during election yr.

    September 8, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  19. Karl Jonas

    Go home, tired bitter man. Nobody cares what you have to say.

    September 8, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  20. Dan5404

    And how does McCain propose getting weapons through a sealed border and serious missile air defense? We don't need another unfunded war.

    September 8, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  21. ChildofValen

    So Sen. McCain is criticizing the Commander in Chief on foreign soil. Hum????????

    September 8, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  22. Mike

    Shutnuo more war dont you get it!

    September 8, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  23. JohnReedjr

    I do not think it is appropriate for a member of Congress to criticize our foreign policy in public in a foreign country. McCain is showing signs of senility. Syria is a lot more complicated than Libya, and we do not have the best record selecting who to arm in the Arab world.

    September 8, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  24. Michael

    The War monger is at it again, he and the White (Gray old Party) will clelebrate Robme and Lyin Ryan's election with a Nuclear War with Syria, China, Iran, Russia and North Korea in the name of Conservatism! In starting World War III the neocons will spin it that they conquered the devil and the anti christ (only in the bible the anti christ starts these wars). These War mongering repuglicans will tell the World that they have defeated the ills of liberaism (equality, PeACE, brotherly love, poor, middle class, seniors, and homelessness). We have seen their play book, its filled with fairy tales of WMD's conspiracy theories, false accusations, no diplomacy, no dialogue and my way or the highway precepts!

    September 8, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  25. Jim

    Don't we have a tradition of keeping our comments on foreign policy to ourselves when we're travelling abroad? This guy's been living off his "hero" status for years now. He wasn't a hero then and he isn't a hero now. He's a demented old gasbag.

    September 8, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
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