September 7th, 2013
06:52 PM ET
12 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. renton1

    McCain is just trying to make his deadbeat party look tough, but his threats mean nothing to those living in thr real world.

    September 8, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Richard Hode

    Sending "Mad John" McCain to Washington to stop a war is like hiring a pyromaniac for the job of chief of the fire department.

    September 8, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. Martina

    It sounds like McCain begins to suffer from dementia.

    September 8, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. Claire

    Go back to playing video poker during briefings... Can't take you seriously after that...

    September 8, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. EE

    Insane McCain, at it again. Good thing the "mavericks" didn't win the white house, God only knows how bad it'd be by now. Little or nothing that this guy says, thinks and/or does makes any sense. Time to retire Senator.

    September 8, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. Tom in Desoto, TX

    As a Navy pilot, and a bad one at that losing 5 jets in 8 year, he KNOWS NOTHING about boots on the ground. He spoke of the surge in Iraq, boots on the ground – Johnny, you know NOTHING about any aspect of a ground assault, NOTHING. McCain's claim to fame is he was a POW, without that he'd either be selling beer or teaching history in high school in Phoenix.

    September 8, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. leslie deutsch

    Comment is both funny and sad. McCant is fading fast.

    September 8, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. Boater39

    But yet they never impeached GWB.....

    September 8, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. dave

    NSA NSA NSA - I have always admired John McCain for the way he drank his way through Annapolis on the taxpayer dime, kept his wings even though he crashed everything he flew, survived torture in NV prison, came home to find his wife had been severely injured, so he cheated on her and abandoned her, found a rich broad to marry and insults her in public . he never demonstrated his leadership more than when he giggled and danced a jig singing bomb Iran.

    He is a special Veteran and Republican to have both Ronald Regan and Ross Perot turn their backs on him.

    No one know what is going on in Syria. 140 Thousand people (many of them were likely children), killed by gunpowder -NOT OUR PROBLEM. 1400 people killed by chemical weapons –IT IS OUR MORAL OBLIGATION TO DROP BOMBS. Bulloney

    September 8, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  10. dave

    I have always admired John McCain for the way he drank his way through Annapolis on the taxpayer dime, kept his wings even though he crashed everything he flew, survived torture in NV prison, came home to find his wife had been severely injured, so he cheated on her and abandoned her, found a rich broad to marry and insults her in public . he never demonstrated his leadership more than when he giggled and danced a jig singing bomb Iran.

    September 8, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  11. Kenman

    I'm a conservative, and I think the media's fascination with McCain and Lindsay Graham is disturbing, and deliberately intended to represent Republicans as like these self-serving, egotistical rabble-rousers; they are NOT Republican and they are certainly not conservative. Some of you might like them just for that reason, well you can have them!

    September 8, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  12. Bob

    Wish someone would start a new political party; The Common Sense Party!

    September 8, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. jake c

    This is nonsense. It is time to publicly support the president and increase his confidence. Impeachment comments can be done privately unless you want to make yourself some PR.

    September 8, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. dave

    Bush II - LET BIN LADEN ESCAPE – Phony war in Iraq, war in Afghanistan, financial melt down.

    Obama - GOT BIN LADEN, got us out of Iraq, Afghanistan is up in the air, stopped the financial meltdown

    September 8, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. Pete

    Can someone please ask John McCain to read all the comments here, so that he knows what the American People think about him.

    September 8, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. the dude

    not a statesman, nor a good politician – he wants to appease all sides all the time. he only shows that he's been in office far too long. a president can use the military as he deems necessary, boots or no boots on the ground – his doing so is not an impeachable offense. McCain is again talking nonsense. Obama will not ask congress to declare war...as if this congress would do anything anyway.

    September 8, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. justanaverageguy

    Like McCain said: you don't warn them and
    give them time to disperse. This is a farce.
    Diplomacy is the only way forward on this.

    September 8, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. Susan

    Can McCain be removed from office? It is long past time.

    September 8, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  19. Joke

    Senator McCain, too long being senator. I don't get it why Arizona keep vote him to be senator. he's mind war and war! our economy is picking up right know , we don't need any war! cost billion of dollar!

    September 8, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. jamie

    Your worthless time is over McCain. Ask Joe the plumber, he will tell you the same. You are a poster child for term limits.

    September 8, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. Larry

    If McCain had won the 2008 Presidential elections, he would have doomed America.

    September 8, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. djb0110

    Can't you tell he's bluffing?

    September 8, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. Sol

    No one can accurately predict what will happen when and if the US strikes..

    Boots on the Ground might just be necessary due t the repercussions following this act.

    September 8, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. TSB8C

    If Congress fails to approve Obama's request for military strikes and he launches them anyway, there should be impeachment. Obama has spent his entire presidency going around Congress and it must stop.
    1. Using the EPA to punish the coal industry after Congress failed to pass "cap and trade".
    2. Exemptions and delays in the health care law he pushed through.
    3. Last summer's changes at ICE in violation of current immigration law.
    4. Holder's tactics on voting rights after the SCOTUS ruling.
    5. Etc, etc, etc.

    September 8, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. DaScott

    Wow, if McCain flip flopped any harder he'd break his own back. He knows damn well bombing alone never accomplished anything useful. He's trying to hand Obama his own noose so the GOP can finally get the impeachment they've been creaming their pants dreaming about for years.

    September 8, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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