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. michael in houston

    This coming from a man who thought Sarah Palin would be a great back up to become President. You need to sit down senator. There is something wrong with you.

    September 8, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. omeany

    Recall McCain would be more in order. He is a war monger who is chomping at the bit to get us into Syria, How dare he make impeachment threats to the President.

    September 8, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. manwiththe1000poundbrain

    Oh, how ridiculous! This is just a ploy to appeal to the knuckle dragging tea partiers in the House. Presidents have deployed troops scores of times throughout the history of the U.S. via the Commander-in-Chief function in the Constitution without authorization of Congress. Regardless of one's position in this particular issue, there would be no grounds for actual removal of the President and the Senate would not convict on the charges.

    September 8, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. JayT

    The American people should demand impeachment process start is he drags us into Syria's civil war even by bombing. Additionally, they should start recall proceedings on McCain for playing video poker while in war hearings:/ Our Reps are more and more like high school kids now. I guess we have to take away their cell phones while class is in session...

    September 8, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. Friscolady

    Mr. McCain Obama should be impeached even if one missile leaves a U.S. Warship and lands on Syria without Congressional approval. Not just if U.S. "boots hit the ground in Syria"!

    September 8, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. kotchi

    Mc Cain is an idiot. Who else would choose Sarah Palin as a running mate? Nobody...

    September 8, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  7. Sergio

    First of all Sen. McCain is a war-monger, he and Sen. Gramm from South Carolina have been the ones pushing to get involved in Syria and criticizing the president for doing nothing; now his constituents are calling his a “marshmallow”…McCain is the one that should be impeached according to the people in Arizona…

    September 8, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  8. Links2

    This McCain dude is one of the biggest hypocrites I have ever seen. He really needs to step down and retire. He is constantly politicking and is not for the people of the US at all

    September 8, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. GoInthere

    if we don't go in and there is another chemical attack I want all you people who love seeing innocent children killed to be sent over there and help them bury them

    September 8, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. Jimh77

    McCain told Phoenix radio host Mike Broomhead on Thursday that the president had "bungled" the entire handling of the Syria crisis

    Excuse me but President Obama has "bungled" everything he touches since day 1. He is quite the talker and then he screws it all up.

    September 8, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. Jon Marco Johnson

    Good, Obama has broken his oath to uphold and defend the constitution countless times.

    September 8, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. Name

    We are in deep if we strike Syria. If opposing groups want to deny wrong doing by the Syrian government, then let them hold the burden not the US. If a chemical attack happens again then the US will have more ground to stand on to take action with support. Hundreds of thousands have died already. Attacking Syria now will accelerate the numbers more than another anticipated chemical attack will. It's not a question of power or justice. it isnt whether or not more people will die. if the US stikes, the future of the US and death toll will be outrageously grim. WWIII good luck with that one NATO Let the prophesy be fulfilled, this world is not making any sense at all!!

    September 8, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. WisconsinEric

    McCain is talking out of both sides of his mouth: on one hand he says Pres. Obama would face impeachment if he puts boots on the ground or " if he overstepped the limits of the authorization before Congress." But at the end of the story, he is quoted as saying that "made a mistake by consulting Congress instead of immediately launching a bombing campaign." Which would have been without any Congressional authorization at all! Huh?

    September 8, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    And please explain how the president of one country "bungles" the handling of a war in another country?

    September 8, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. Joan

    This is one oh McCain's dumbest statements yet. He has been preaching for months that the US should be taking extreme measures in Syria. If he was President probably America WOULD have been in a war in Syria last year. Now the President is advocating a limited strike in Syria and McCain is preaching against what he was saying should happen long ago. He wanted boots on the ground but now says the President should be impeached if he puts boots on the ground. McCain was for it before he was against it. Mr. McCain make up your mind.

    September 8, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. WisdomKeeper

    STILL Sour grapes from loosing the 2008 election, McCain ? If he had been elected, McCain would STILL have our soldiers fully engaged in war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Remember McCain's idiocy in making a ' joke' with the song, ' Bomb, bomb bomb, Iran' ...Nauseating . So many peoples lives were at stake. ...
    McCain and some of his Republican cronies are classic examples of war monger mentalities -past soldiers often just want to engage in war and to fight – for that is truly ALL they know. They would be better served in becoming students of rational discourse and intelligent negotiation – and in developing their minds instead of their egos .

    September 8, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. Jody

    And please explain how the president of one country "bungles" the handling of a war in another country? The best way to handle the war in Syria is to turn off the TV.

    September 8, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  18. Name

    Personally my opinion if we are such this great country we should be worrying about what happens in our state's and city's not what happens in another country that we have no control over

    September 8, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  19. Lo

    They , the government, will do as they please regardless of the people's voice. Obama has stated so himself, just like Bush Jr and Bush Sr.

    September 8, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. Me

    Bomb Bomb Bomb
    Bomb Iran
    -McCain

    September 8, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. Talltom58

    McCain lost all credibility years ago. That he would so blatantly try to play politics with an issue as serious as this is a ghastly display of his real inner being. Shame on you Mr. McCain. Censor yourself and resign.

    September 8, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. Nrmd

    One side you support. The other side threats. Senator, You neither respect the president, or your own choice or the Americans.

    September 8, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  23. 1010101010

    Again, McCain needs to retire. He must shut up. He knows that if something goes wrong with this "retaliatory" action it will lead to further entanglement by the USA. By the way, remember Vietnam, that was a "police action" by the time the smoke cleared we lost a lot of teenage boys and several billions in this "police action." This sounds like a boy playing with a fire ant mound and getting them mad and then he ends up in the emergency room. When the smoke clears we will have the Russians and Chinese against us and they have nuclear weapons! We may just end up in the emergency room!!

    September 8, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  24. Chris

    He doesn't need Congressional authorization to send Marines. McCain must be getting senile...

    September 8, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. Richard Bachman

    Funny how neo-cons pull this card only when it is not in their interest.

    September 8, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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