September 7th, 2013
06:52 PM ET
11 months ago

McCain raises impeachment - if boots hit ground in Syria

WASHINGTON (CNN) - After endorsing President Barack Obama's plan to launch military strikes against Syria, Sen. John McCain warned the president would face impeachment if he were to put "boots on the ground."

McCain told Phoenix radio host Mike Broomhead on Thursday that the president had "bungled" the entire handling of the Syria crisis and would open himself up to impeachment hearings if he overstepped the limits of the authorization before Congress.


"No one wants American boots on the ground," McCain told the KYFI audience. "Nor will there be American boots on the ground, because there would be an impeachment of the president if they did that."

While McCain said he still supports the current plan to intervene in Syria, the Arizona Republican's statement seems to reflect his contentious Thursday town hall meeting with some Phoenix constituents. At the meeting, McCain, who has favored a more robust American response to the Syria crisis, faced intense criticism.

"We didn't send you to make war for us. We sent you to stop the war," one man said.

Despite his warning to the president, McCain spoke out in favor of the Syria authorization again Saturday, endorsing former Army Gen. David Petraeus' endorsement of the administration's plan in a tweet.

Only one of three Republicans in the Senate Foreign Relations panel to approve the measure, McCain has vocally advocated for a stepped-up American response to alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government. He even refused to pass the White House resolution out of committee until it included provisions to bolster Syrian opposition forces deemed moderate.

McCain's support for action hasn't stopped the Arizonan from blasting his former 2008 presidential rival for inaction.

In an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room" on Tuesday, McCain told Wolf Blitzer the president needed to "explain to the American people" why urgent action in Syria is necessary. The Republican senator also said President Obama made a mistake by consulting Congress instead of immediately launching a bombing campaign against the Syrian government.

"It's common sense you don't warn them and give them plenty of time to disperse," McCain said.


Filed under: John McCain • President Obama • Syria • Uncategorized
soundoff (1,005 Responses)
  1. rc

    Someone please tell Mc Cain the American people don't care what he thinks, and that's why he's not president. Syria is a world problem and the U N needs to step up not the USA. President Obama needs to watch over the USA that's why he's in office.

    September 8, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. Mike

    ""It's common sense you don't warn them and give them plenty of time to disperse," McCain said.

    So, the President should have immediately gone ahead with strikes, giving you, Sen McCain, and all the other members of your party the opportunity to eviscerate him for NOT consulting Congress, and for making a "rash" decision?

    No, Senator, the President is much too smart for that. Here's a napkin – you're frothing at the mouth. Again.

    September 8, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Djd135

    John McCain needs to find a comfortable rocking chair at the nearest nursing home

    September 8, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. John Tater

    Yes, the Republicans have set it up so that Obama is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. I hope people who vote are smart enough, or paying sufficient attention, to see that.

    September 8, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. DCS

    Senator McCain wants intervention, he wants Bashar removed, and he wants all of this done yesterday. But wait! He doesn't like the President's proposed plan. ...and if boots hit the ground Obama should be impeached? Do us a favor, Senator: make up your mind. Barack Obama is the Commander in Chief. You Sir, are not. Stop pretending you won, help out and/or get out of the way. And quit being so damned bitter. Your poisonous politicking is ruinous for government and country.

    September 8, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Mark

    Remember what side of the MLK issue McCain was on, his agenda has always been very bigoted in nature. He should not be representing anyone. Once you can't get it up anymore your term should expire.

    September 8, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Scott

    All of these stories need to focus on only two things- we don't know for sure who launched the chemical attack and if Assad looses power the better trained and organized outside groups will be likely to control the battle field. We may put terrorists in control of Syria and allow them the cover to steal chemical weapons. The press is nearly as irresponsible in not pressing the war-hawks on this as they were pre-Iraq Invasion.

    September 8, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. Orb4

    It's really a shame we didn't elect this monumental idiot and the even bigger idiot from Alaska! Can you imagine what we have already missed out on? Flag-draped coffins from Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria. Shoot first and ask questions/aim later McCain needed to retire a long time ago – his "service" to his country is over.

    September 8, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. McDummy

    Just how many chips was he betting on his hand when he made these comments? I am pretty certain that for a man his age, he can't concentrate on a simple interview, so he must have been playing online poker as he talked. Impeach the president when this old coot sits in one of the most important hearings of this time, and plays online poker?

    September 8, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. sit_down_john!

    3 unrelated points:
    1) Its sad that John wants everyone to know how "important" he is. He isnt.
    2) Anyone who thinks we supply or use weapons without retallation is delusional.
    3) This is terrible precedent. We reap what we sow.
    No president has had his hands tied like this while still in office.

    September 8, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. dajowi

    Impeachment proceedings – HA! He's the first black president of the U.S. It'd never happen since you'd be labelled a racist if you voted for impeachment.

    They gave him a Nobel Prize because he's black.

    All the people getting all the free stuff from the government like Obama phones and whatnot would cheerfully reelect him for a third term if they could.

    September 8, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. Len Smith

    Impeachment, just what the country needs. The congress can't even remember if their heads are screwed on correctly and after a 5 week vacation are not sure they can handle everything that needs to be done. The Senate passed a budget, but the House has not and won't negotiate with the Senate, so why should I feel sorry that they have to make decisions. As far as boots on the ground in Syria, remember who wanted them out of Iraq and wants them out of Afghanistan sooner rather than later. Syria is not Iraq or Afghanistan, it is a crime against humanity.

    September 8, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  13. Puddin

    I don't think the US will be thought of as the "bad guy," I think the US will be thought of as a country who cares for humanity. Sometimes, I think we are the only country that does, because others say they care, but they leave the acting up to the US. I don't like the idea of the possibility of another war, either. But, imagine, say if some nut like Assad gassed states on the east coast or anywhere else in this country, and no other country came to our aid, we would be horrified.

    September 8, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. Anonymous

    McCain is so wishy-washy, one minute he's for american intervention the next he's against it. He's such a tool.

    September 8, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. ronjayaz

    Who can follow the war hawk, who now changes his mind and puts Obama in danger of being impeached. Whew, McCain.

    September 8, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  16. stan love

    John McCain is one scary dude. I bet he threatens his maids, butlers and his wife. And they all laugh and send him back to Washington.

    September 8, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  17. Victor Cuadra

    You mean Senator McCain will actually take a break from playing Poker during Congressional hearings and impeachment proceedings?

    I have my doubts...... If anybody should be impeached sir, it should be you, for that idiotic behavior you displayed in Congress. It is not only disrespectful to your colleagues who were discussing an extremely important issue, but also disrespectful to the citizens of this nation. You want to send our men and women over their to fight, but can't even pay attention during the congressional hearing discussing whether or not to put their lives in danger?

    McCain's poker playing during that hearing was outright criminal in my view. He is a big hypocrite.

    September 8, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. Gloria

    I am so weary of John McCain! I don't think he has yet accepted the fact that he didn't win the presidency over President Obama. Get over it, Senator!

    September 8, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. T E X A S

    Just the other day McCain gave an interview on NPR that sounded very much like pro-involvement in Syria. Is this the best we can do for leadership? Would the good senator from Arizona please yield the floor.

    September 8, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. Dan

    McCain wants a full scale war in Syria, but protects his butt by saying that boots on the ground are reasons for impeachment. What a two-faced war hawk. McCain wants boots on the ground. They should be his.

    September 8, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. bob jacobs

    Obama has done more damage to our country than all Presidents combined before him. He rountinely thumbs his nose at us all while issuing exec orders when he doesn't get what he wants. Obamacare will wreck our economy in 2014-2015 as it is fully in force. Mc Cain is an experienced lawmaker who is letting Americans know where the line is drawn in view of Obama's record of broken promises – no boots on the ground today would become boots on the ground next month or next year. Our country is so divided and gridlock is the result. Thank God for those who stand against Obama to keep it from getting worse.

    September 8, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. gahh

    Oh goody, Congress is coming back to Washington tomorrow, for another 6 weeks, and then off they go again. Wouldn't it be nice if everybody who has to work for a living, could do that? The country is going down the tubes, and all they're thinking about, is their next vacation.

    September 8, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. Fact Checker

    John just can't walk in the other direction of a microphone. He and Charlie Schumer should have a radio show together. John should not really talk on this subject:

    He wanted an expanded presence is Syria supporting the "rebels" . He failed to realize those weapons would likely end up in the hands of AQ or sympathizers who make up the more potent rebel units.

    He supports Obama with his sidekick Lindsay, after being wooed with a high profile WH meeting.

    Then shoots his mouth off about impeachment with boots on the ground accusation, something Obama has not entertained. All the while playing video poker during the debate

    What blow hard. We'd be fighting 3 wars right now if he was elected

    September 8, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. Omama Supporter

    McCain is a big joke. No one gives a rats ass what he has to say. If he were so smart he would be President and not a wanna be. Go back to Arizona , you have no business being in Washington.

    September 8, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  25. MIke

    McCain for months were warmongering to intervene in Syria. Obama, the deliberate statesman that he is, issued a "red line." The red line was crossed. Now, that Obama is in the same war mode as McCain, McCain backpedals, and issued a threat. That's the Republican party for you.

    September 8, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
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