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. peacemonger

    if McCain was president, he would have been impeached by now

    September 8, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. larsonst

    While I only occasionally agree with McCain, he is an de-facto hero. I agree with him over a Syria strike.

    I am fatigued by over a decade of war. I'd rather not go, but is this another Kitty Genovese or Rwanda generation, or the Greatest Generation redux?

    Both are ugly; but one is heroic and selfless, and the other is fetal position and not-my-job thinking.

    September 8, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. Chris

    Most Americans also do not want our missiles flying into Syria either as that puts the Navy or Air Force people into jeopardy and wastes our Tax Dollars! Of course, Obama's entire "reign" over the U.S. has wasted TRILLIONS of our tax dollars hasn't it? That should be grounds for impeachment!

    September 8, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. Paul

    McCain is full of crap. He first supports and rally's up and then when questioned and pushed by his constituents in Arizona turns around and threatens impeachment. What a double faces politicians. He is a typical politician and it is very obvious now.

    I am so glad that he did not get elected as his flip flopping would have done a lot of damage to the country, economy and our standing in the world.

    September 8, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. Name bp

    Its too late, all the major networks have announced the military plans in detail so it would be both suicid and fruitless to attack after such a wonderful warning.

    September 8, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. allenwoll

    McCain STIFLE ! ! !

    September 8, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. dirksterdude

    The elder Bush was able to attack prepare for attacking Iraq without the approval of Congress. The legal reasoning Congress gave when it objected was that only Congress could declare war or peace because they were the direct representatives of the American people. The Supreme Court declared the President did not need congressional approval to act as Commander in Chief. Congressional approval and additional funding was eventually given because you can't find an extended conflict without money. All of this was before the coalition when the president responded to the request of Saudi's King for assistance against Iraq. So the idea that this would lead to impeachment is nonsense. You can bet Democrats will bring up all these details if it actually happens.

    September 8, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. asdassad

    The fact that we're doing anything at all in Syria is insane. Impeach and recall every one of them.

    September 8, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. Steve S

    McCain is the crazy old Uncle, that no one wants to hear from.
    He should have gone back to his home on the range, years ago.

    September 8, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Where was this rancor from McCain when Dubya and his clique lied their way into Iraq by fabricating intel to justify a make good for Dubya's daddy?!?!?!

    September 8, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. danita

    It's about time someone starts to put bama in his place... A president not from the country who's destroying it and turning it into a welfare breeding ground... Two Thumbs up...

    September 8, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Rob

    Hey McCain
    Americans don't want this. Are you prepare to lose office over this support of Obama?
    This has no affect on us. No Americans have been killed. Libya on the other hand, Egypt in the other hand....
    Syria is just a diversion from all our disasters.

    September 8, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. Bill from Clinton Maryland

    John McCain should try George W. Bush for war crimes first. The again, McCain should be tried for war crimes. BTW, where's term limits for McCain?

    September 8, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Name chuks

    Macain let peace rule the world

    September 8, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  15. ericgoestoholland

    I understand why McCain would say this to Obama, and it DOES enforce the seriousness with which McCain and his like-minded colleagues are taking their alignment with Obama's plan. But I do have one question: what happens if we go in with airstrikes and the syrian military is somehow able to cause serious casualties to our air force? Do we not escalate our involvement at that point?

    September 8, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  16. SuperReverb2

    Stay out!! Nothing can be gained by bombing Syria at this LATE point in time. Besides. Who is the "official" opposition anyway? Does anybody really know? Does anybody know for sure who actually launched the chemical attack? What if we get rid of the current regime and all of their chemical weapons, etc., fall into the wrong hands? Then what have we accomplished? Stay out!!

    September 8, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. dirksterdude

    The President of the United States does not need the U.S. Congress approval to attack another country. Clinton sent missiles into Sudan and Afghanistan, not to mention Kosovo, Reagan hit Libya with airstrikes and deployed troops to Grenada, and Bush also went into Afghanistan after a anti-terror resolution in 2001, which is still in force. None of these incidents dating back to 1983 (Grenada) received approval of the U.S. Congress and NONE of these U.S. Presidents were impeached for ordering the attacks. Impeachment on this issue is nonsense although it might not be politically smart for President Obama to actually ignore the U.S. Congress if they can't give him what he wants.

    September 8, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. Alex

    American people must be naive.
    Your government is supporting terrorists in Syria, supporting same people who are responsible for Sep. 11 terrorism attack, I wonder who was responsible for 911, wake up people.
    Your Country is broke, people losing their homes etc. spending your money to support terrorism, Al-Qaeda and lying on their own people about who used chemical in Syria.

    September 8, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. Name.okonkwo onyedikachi

    how foolish was mc.cain for uterring such statement,obama has the right to cunsult the congres about his opinion agains the situation in syria.

    September 8, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. J Murphy

    Why is McCain, a US Senator, talking about impeachment when the power to impeach lies solely with the House?

    September 8, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. Clueless in DC

    McCain has ben on every side of this issue - When is not playing video poker, he is making statements all over the place - it is not helpful

    September 8, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. Myron Gilbreath

    Senator Mc Cain was one of the first to support President Bush and his soldiers on the ground policy and now he supports a U S attack but wants to be able to blame someone else if anything goes wrong. Now he says the President should not have consulted Congress. Whats with it Senator?

    September 8, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. Pauk Willson

    Sen.McCain has fears for an extended war . He remembers how USA got sucked into Vietnam . But if POTUS says no US boots on ground well he had better stick to that . And if he violates that promise well Sen.McCaIn 's impeachmenty threat should be a promise.

    September 8, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  24. Foster149

    Just looks like John wanted a sound-byte of him using the word "impeachment" in case he wants to run for another term.

    He also thinks Obama should be impeached if he surrenders to HYDRA. "Don't yield," the Senator from Arizona demanded of the President. "Back SHIELD!".

    September 8, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. David G

    Advice coming from the man that infested us to the the Sarah Palin "Plague". This old man is bitter.

    September 8, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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