September 7th, 2013
06:52 PM ET
7 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. Billy

    McCain is nothing more then a bitter old blowhard. Does anyone take this guy seriously? Why do we leave these out-of-touch geriatrics in office? Time to put old Johnny out to pasture I think.

    September 8, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. Pete

    McCain is a Warmonger.

    September 8, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. newscale62

    Considering the lack of support for the initially proposed military action, I could see that option being on the table a lot sooner.

    September 8, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. Amber

    I completely agree with McCain. Obama has done a crap job once again. Our country needs a real leaders and not a botched one with rigged elections, healthcare that isn't going to help, racial issues being started out of non-racial issues.... I could continue the list, but you get the point. NOBAMA!

    September 8, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Ron

    McCain is desperately trying to walk both sides of the fence 'pretending' he cares about the will of the people while giving our sham of a President what he wants. They need to learn no means no. It's time to vote straight Republican next election to reign in our big government and inexperienced President. I want my vote back!

    September 8, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. Taggot

    McCain : Any idea that is not associated with Obama = Good otherwise impeachable.

    September 8, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. jonline

    When does he retire again? I could have sworn America rejected his ruin for president.

    September 8, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. missyley

    John McCain, You are such a foolish man!!! Either you support or you do not! Stop with your threats!!!!!

    September 8, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. bloggette

    McCain plays video games during hearings and picked Palin as a running mate. His credibility and opinions are in the toilet.

    September 8, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. Name

    Not a threat to Obama, just attempt to reassure the skeptical.

    September 8, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  11. sawtooth

    Yea! No one wants their daughters to go to war, especially in the middle east where they don't treat women so good

    September 8, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. NameLeeAT

    Intervention into Middle East conflicts has always backfired on us, and these rebels are worse than the regime that they are trying to over throw, so the US needs to stay out of Syria without a coalition, and that's not looking it's going to happen. Obama needs to work on fulfilling his campaign lies, oops campaign promises which did not include striking Syria

    September 8, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. worldlypatriotusaveteran

    It's very easy for all of you hate-mongers and truly-ignorant contributors to attack the CHARACTER of a man who has served his country for 50+ years.......including 5+ years as a prisoner-of-war in Vietnam.

    Please, by all means, ATTACK his views. But, unless you are 100% certain you know exactly what you're talking about when you attack his character, we don't want to read it. None of you can prove any of the inane and stupid commentary regarding his integrity and character.

    McCain's current comments are POLITICAL THEATER. Political theater has been around since 1776, and is a hallmark of most democracies. If you can't recognize this, you need to take a refresher course in political science.....or, better yet, judging by the ignorance displayed here.......why don't you take your FIRST COURSE in civics and political science?

    September 8, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. Thinking2it

    Oregon Native actually put it quite well. Honestly, it takes a bold people to stand up for others as the sheep scatter for the woods. The innocent of Syria need defense agains the most hideous, because – obviously, the governing faction and terrorist factions are all totally irresponsible when it comes to doing the right thing to get their country in a healthy state. And, actually, They make our (US) Rep/Dem/Lib/ & Tea parties look like one big old happy family.). And the government of Iran – complaining about the US, UN and others who want to assist Syria's innocents getting slaughtered by chemical weapons, you should try looking up the meaning of the word "humane" and assist making peace.

    September 8, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Barry Howard

    Talk of Impeaching President Obama but never a discussion of Impeaching President Bush when he lied to the American people. Something is strange about these two situation. President Bush stole Iraq and that is ok, and President Obama is attempting to save the people of Syria from Assad. President Obama saved the American way of life, while President Bush robbed the American people. Now we have the nerve to discuss impeachment of President Obama, while we hail President Bush as some kind of hero. This is certainly garbage talk by Mccain or any other stupid politician. I am an American and I support our Commander In Chief President Obama, in what ever decision he makes either to drop bombs or not drop bombs on Syria.

    September 8, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. Jerry Bachman

    If impeachment was ever going to happen, it would have happened a long time ago over any one of the numerous scandals; I cannot imagine that "Syria" is going to change that one way or the other.

    September 8, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. HJC

    McCain : I like him, I voted for him in 2008. He is just wrong on this, no two ways about it.

    Stand down Senator.

    September 8, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. Charlie

    Impeach the president and every member of congress they lie cheat and steel to and from the Ameican people! Only thing worse that them are the people who continue to vote for them

    September 8, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. Rhinoh Swaziland

    the Syrian government crossed the red line but here there truth is that the use of chemical weapon against her civilians wasn't authorised by the Syrian President but by the armed forces and its clear according to the leaks so I would like the US to go back to the drawing board and include this. If the US want war then what will happen to the civilians of Syria? Obama like war always why? He is similar to Bush. Stop the war and promote peace. The truth is clear that where there is America there are conflicts like Libya people are still fighting why? SADAC is better because she promote peace and she is good in solving conflicts.

    September 8, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. SensibleJoe

    Mr. McCain has been one of the biggest "hawks" in contemporary American politics. And for some odd reason, he keeps telling us that Syrian rebels who kill civilians and Christians, kidnap bishops, burn down churches and mosques, and have Al-Qaida links "share the same values" as us. Puh-leeze...

    September 8, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. Obama McDonalds

    When there are this many conflicting reports over who launched the chemical weapons attacks, with signs pointing to anything BUT the Syrian government, I find it obnoxious that media outlets are acting as if it's been proven beyond any doubt that Assad was behind the attacks. Why would Assad knowingly use chemical weapons after Obama drew a "red line?" Deception is the art of war, don't get played, stay out of Syria.

    September 8, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. Ralph

    Is it just me or is McCain talking out of both sides of his mouth all the time. I suggest that he read his own comments. I am sorry, but he reminds me of a dog chasing his own tail.

    September 8, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. RockInD

    Any military action we take in Syria will only cause further destabilization of the region and have us owning a problem that can only be solved by boots on the ground. Stay the Hell Out!

    September 8, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. Mama Mia

    They all need to be wiped from office. We have allowed this to go on for far too long, and they are NOT FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, period.

    September 8, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  25. Josh

    He's only bluffing... like they do in poker... the kind he was playing during the session.

    September 8, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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