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. Jeb

    The president started the whole mess in Syria with the full support of Mr. McCain and the other defense industry promoters. They should both be ashamed.

    September 8, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. axby

    McCain should be impeached for playing poker while on duty.

    September 8, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Unknowian

    His words just prove that in the 2008 election, both Candidates were poor choices.

    September 8, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. Rg

    Insists on a war and then throws the president under the bus

    September 8, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Name DavIid

    The US should completely wipe out the Syrian regime and render the army and rebels helpless. This action will show the world we mean business. Like Teddy said, " walk softly, but carry a big stick" Let's see if our president has brass balls.

    September 8, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain

    McCain will never miss an opportunity to snipe at President Obama. McCain is a bitter, petty old man who can't handle he LOST in 2008. End of story.

    September 8, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. Todd

    Bunch of bull. The POTUS is the commander in chief. He does not need authorization from Congress. Oddly enough, the very thing that McCain discourages is probably the only method that would actually work! These politicians, omg, no sense.

    September 8, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. ErnieS

    McCain is definitely going senile. He Flip-Flops even more than Romney!!

    September 8, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. GulpOff

    McCain? Ugh, go away old man! Drones wear no boots.

    September 8, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. zoeyj

    McCain needs to retire, he first demanded the President should take action, then when the President speaks to take action.........McCain hides, waiting to see the public's, etc response. Then McCain backs the President taking action, now impeachment........
    McCain needs to retire and be examined for Dementia......

    September 8, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. rchoetzlein

    "It's common sense you don't warn them and give them plenty of time to disperse,"
    Actually, it IS common sense that you give people warning before bombing facilities. We're not a dictator regime, and we're not at war! We're not trying to kill people, either civilian or military. This would be a focused, targeted bombing to take out chemical weapons infrastructure.. Yes, it IS common sense to let people get out of the away before we destroy these buildings.

    September 8, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. SMH

    This is not about punishment for the use of chemical weapons. This is an excuse to conduct strikes on conventional military targets (airfields, communication centers, fuel locations, command and control locations; in order to deny Assad's forces the ability to conduct offensive operations against the rebels. As the same time we are going to step up sending arms and aid to the rebels. If you don't believe the goal of the Obama administration is to cause regime change in Syria, then you are truly naive. Once Assad falls, all those "rebels" we supported will run a muck fighting each other for power in Syria and we will be stuck trying to back the horse most tolerant of the USA. No boots on the ground? Don't bet on that. My bet is we will secretly send in "advisers" (aka: Special Forces types) at some point in the future. To collapse the Assad regime and not stay engaged in Syria afterwards is to repeat the mess we made in Afghanistan post soviet withdrawal. Nothing good is going to come from getting involved in Syria, its just that your kids will be dealing with this mess when they are old enough to join the military. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it...

    September 8, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    @liberal hypocrite = redundancy: "There should've been an impeachment already for this abomination of a faux leader. Destroyed this country while kicking back playing spades and smoking. Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Tomato ToMAto."

    Impeachment on what grounds – not getting your way? Grow up, dweeb, and accept your candidate LOST.

    "Destroyed this country" – How? By bringing bin Laden to justice and presiding over the economic recovery (made slower by all the Repub obstruction)?

    And what would the Repubs do instead? All they do is promote divisive social issues and yammer on about cutting taxes for the rich. ALL of the Repub policies are PROVEN FAILURES. We all know it, but folks like you don't have the stones to admit it.

    September 8, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. SMH

    Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Here we go again.

    September 8, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. Alan

    If McCain understood war, he would know that "no boots on the ground" is a promise that cannot be kept. Instead of opposing an attack, he's saying, "I support war against Syria but if Obama puts inevitable boots on the ground, he will be impeached!"

    If McCain was president, there would have been lots of boots on the ground. However, he will tell you, "I didn't promise there would be no boots on the ground, so that would have been a different story." Right.

    September 8, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. Fubarack

    Let's impeach McCain as well, he flops almost as much as Bin. First McCain did not want a purely symbolic strike designed to save Bin, now that is what he agreed to.
    Do not allow Bin to install yet another Al Qaeda government in the ME.

    September 8, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. April

    Why do they keep voting this guy in he's not,"Truly a Conservative".

    September 8, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. Martha in CF

    What a joke McCain is!!!!!!!! You stupid redumblicans--Bush should have been impeached many times over...The redumblicans need to shut up and get the countries business done--instead of name calling, finding a birth certificate, and producing hatred in this country....;.enough is enough

    September 8, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  19. phoebe

    Doesn't he have some bingo game to attend to?

    September 8, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. Carl

    My God who does McCain think he is. It's hard to believe the continued audacity of this senile Senator who would rather play online poker than pay attention to relevant business on Syria. Why, do we give him so much press, why is he allowed to say and even do pretty much anything he wants to, going on trips to foreign countries without blinking, criticizing Obama even when he agrees with him and now having the brass one to even mouth the word impeachment. How made this guy some kind of super President of the United States. Thats right.. super President. He is above EVERYONE. Thats why his poker playing is just a silly thing that he brushed off. Well, it about as silly as no term limits in the Senate. McCain is the single biggest reason why there should be...term limits. He's definitely nothing more than a senile old war hawk that even the Republicans are leery of. Go away McCain you lost the election remember? Go awayyyy. Oh and by the way...NO involvement,whatsoever in Syria, pal.. none. That goes for the 'I dont want to be that kind of President but I will be' Obama. Start listening to what the people of your country wants.. thats why you were elected.

    September 8, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. abbydelabbey

    McCain, your rocking chair at senior city is waiting for you.....

    September 8, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. webonics

    How is this statement helpful in anyway to the dialogue on addressing the issue of Syria? McCain used to be a pretty reasonable politician. Now, he's making statements like this because he is supporting military action but wants to assure his base and Tea Partiers that he's still firmly opposed to the President. What a d-bag.

    September 8, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. dave

    Every time this clown speaks, he makes the Republican party look more and more out of touch with the American people. No wonder the liberal media is constantly seeking his input.

    September 8, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. curtegg

    Mid-east demonstrating the barbaric tribalistic nature of their religious zealotry. Clinton got lucky with Serbia because it is semi-geographically isolated and could be contained. But the whole mid-east is full of so many zealot factions that are so primitive and immature with their beliefs that tolerance to others will not prevail. Stay out of it and let them kill each other off.

    September 8, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  25. Fred

    We owe our country's existence to the intervention of foreign powers into the British civil war in the late 1700ss

    September 8, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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