September 7th, 2013
06:52 PM ET
1 year 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. seattlite

    What a joke. There have been US troops on the ground in Syria for over a year and McCain knows it.

    September 8, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. John

    I used to have a little bit of respect for McCain back in the days when he was the more palatable alternative to George W. Bush. But now it's hard to have any respect for him at all. Let's look at the history of his position on Syria:

    1) He's been pushing for aggressive US intervention in Syria for over a year now.
    2) He was photographed standing next to some unsavory Syrian rebels on his visit to Syria.
    3) He endorses Obama's plan for a "limited strike" which nevertheless keeps getting broader in scope every time a new detail about it emerges.
    4) He supports Obama's backpedaling effort of getting congressional approval for a strike, but plays video poker during hearings on the subject he supposedly cares so much about and jokes about the incident afterward.
    5) Regarding such a strike, he threatens to lead the charge for impeachment if Obama goes ahead with the plan without congressional approval.

    I don't support any further military intervention in Syria, and I agree that Obama going forward into Syria after an outright denial of authorization by congress would be an impeachable offense.

    But McCain's position on the matter is a bundle of contradictions.

    September 8, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. seattlite

    There have been US troops on the graound for over a year and McCain knows it.

    September 8, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  4. Ed Edwards

    McCain is such a brown noser. There are Important issues in our own State of Arizona that needs to be addressed IMMEDIATELY. Such as illegally kidnapping and abducting children-for-profit.

    McCain, our Governor (Janet Brewer) and ALOT more Government Officials are turning a blind eye and a deaf ear, which leads to aiding and abetting to Arizona’s CPS CORRUPTION; which is nothing more than an Arizona STATE FUNDED KIDNAP-FOR-PROFIT-SCHEME to PLUNDER FEDERAL FUNDS!!!

    September 8, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. david

    hey @liberal hypocrite = redundancy,
    Your ridiculous rants make legitimate complaints against POTUS seem illegitimate.
    Your insanity defeats your own cause.

    September 8, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. Concerned America

    McCain has gone completely off the rails. They are not even bother to try and present facts and insulting our intelligence by lying to our faces. Please vote down all these representatives who are supporting this war, especially McCain and Boehner. This is not a partisan issue this is warfare on the will of the American people.

    September 8, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. Steve

    The poor man has lost his marbles. Obama has repeatedly stated there will be no American boots on the ground.

    September 8, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  8. Peter

    There are a number of ways to make a point. But Mr. McCain is overstepping his boundaries and being disrespectful to the President in his choice of words.

    September 8, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. OCCUPY WALLSTREET FOREVER

    I wish old man McCain was taken out by a SWAT team like that 107 year old guy.

    September 8, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. Manuel J.

    There sure are a lot of meaningless and stupid comments on this post. Obviously, there are a lot of armchair QB's who have done NOTHING for the betterment of our country.

    You voted Obama you say.... what a joke. Obama is worse than Carter by a LARGE margin. I guess that's what we get when ignorant Americans vote for a community organizer. What an F'ing joke

    September 8, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. dustin92sc

    Bashar Assad knows he has little influence other than well-placed cash bribes to corrupt Politicians. Marcellus natural gas has taken over in America and hydrogen fuel is about to explode on stations to replace gasoline and diesel. Barack Obama should denounce Assad as cheap cliche.

    September 8, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. YetAnotherBeliever

    I wonder how hard McCain pushed for impeachment of the president who "bungled" the entire Iraq situation – you know, putting boots on the ground and all...

    September 8, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  13. Daryl

    McCain's judgement is definitely open to question - after all he did choose Sarah Palin as his running mate!

    September 8, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. Tony

    Bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb.......everybody! It seems to be the only trick in this old fart's basket.

    September 8, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. BD70

    Oh sure....Obama launches an attack without Congress's input and the House would have a fit. According to the republicans Obama can do no right. From what I understand the majority wants the US to stay out of it...period!

    September 8, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. John

    Mc Cain needs to retire and go fishing or something. He's no longer an effective politician.

    September 8, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  17. Robert L Florida

    The audacity! McCain being the mouthpiece of Republican party, or might we say the warmonger party, strikes out at Obama regarding boots on the ground in Syria. Obama accomplishment of extricating our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan is serving the will of the people. Shame on Mccain, if the Republicans controlled Congress and the presidency, our ground forces would already be there! Amen

    September 8, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. lynhines

    Absolutely incredible after Bush fabricated evidence to start a war in Iraq, which continues, which has killed thousands of American let alone Iraqis, the people we were meant to save.

    Imagine if McCain had been elected, would he have the same position? Completely irresponsible

    September 8, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  19. John Geheran

    With all due respect, Senator McCain, your credibility with many Americans tanked when you asserted that "Allahu Akbar" was the equivalent of "Thank God". This laughable observation is only exceeded by James Clapper's assertion of "the MB is a largely secular organization". To avoid further embarrassment, peruse the writings (never denied by contemporary MB leadership) of MB founder, Hasan al-Banna or its revered ideologue, Sayyid Qutb. If this fails to make your freedom-loving blood run cold, try reading the MB charter, motto, mission statement and fiendishly clever plans for the defeat of Europe and N. America "from within". If you do your homework, you will undoubtedly conclude that the only difference between the Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda-like groups is tactics; AQ is "kill them all and do it now" whereas the MB preaches "play-for-the-long-haul, discipline, organization, patience, integration, moderation, democracy and, at the right moment, violent jihad" (if needed).

    September 8, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. pete

    Mcain lost 2008 presidential election BIG time.
    Can we trust opinion of the looser??

    September 8, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  21. DP

    Why did McCain not initiate impeachment proceedings after Obama refused to get congressional authorization for the continuation of miliary action in Libya after expiration of the allowed 60 days? And McCain can talk all he wants, but the Democrats in Congress would stop ANY impeachment proceedings imaginable. So it's an entirely empty threat. If you ask me, the IRS obscenity leads, in all likelihood, right into the White House and the Oval Office, even if Obama did not consciously "understand" the implications of what he was setting in motion. No impeachment procedures there, and even if a smoking gun were found, the Democrats would block any impeachmment. I don't know about impeachment, but the NSA revelations are mind-numbing. Where is all of this going to end?

    September 8, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. jetfuel4

    If there ever was someone who just needs to go away.....you're looking at him !!!! I look foward to the day we say goodbye to ALL of these BOZO's......

    September 8, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  23. Karen Hoegerl

    As usual McCain....... when you feel the heat defer the blame on someone else and say something so outlandish as impeachment to prove your point and show your power! You talk out of both sides of your mouth and you make it soooo obvious.

    September 8, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  24. Monica

    Too bad we can't impeach Mc Cain. !

    September 8, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  25. Lou Panico

    When is this bitter old fool going to shut up? Where was he when the Bush crime family led us into a war based on lies?

    September 8, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
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