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. Coz

    @TTommy... what you have conveniently forgotten is to actually READ the article. President Obama HAS sought Congressional approval for action against Syria. What Sen. McCain has suggested... well, really, outright lambasted the president for, is for NOT taking action immediately, without Congressional approval. As far as President Bush goes... yes, he did receive permission from Congress, for "carte blanche" action in Iraq, but this permission was based on information that, at the time, was LARGELY disputed about WMD's... and ultimately proven to be inaccurate. So, take your pick... a President to waits to take action, as Congress mulls over intelligence that has been vetted as accurate and real by the intelligence community, or a President to gets approval from Congress to do whatever the heck he wants, based on information that the intelligence community said was false.

    September 8, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. ammoaj

    Senator McCain? Remember Libya and Kosovo? We took out dictator's without a single boot on the ground? In Libya we lost one aircraft due to mechanical malfunctions and saved both pilots? We can take out Syrian defenses purely by sea and airpower. We are not going to do anything dumb like we did with Iraq.

    Obama will let the JCS do their jobs instead of the steadfast micromanaging from the prior administration that drove my military to the ground.

    September 8, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. King Hussein Obama

    I will send my army wherever i want to send them. I will send those who dont support me to prison, or maybe their car will have an unfortunate accident.

    my moronic drone voters havent got a clue that they've dug their own graves. just wait until i turn their access cards off.

    muhahaha. allaha akbar.

    September 8, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. straighttalk

    MC Cain who? You mean that guy from Arizona who discovered the dear hunter in Alaska? Mc Cain it is time for the Assistant Living Center.

    September 8, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. Buddy

    Oh please. The democrat party will never impeach Obama regardless of what he does.

    September 8, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. I Am God

    Sheesh the teawings just want to cry and cry and cry because it isn't a Republican as President making the decision to do something about the use of chemical weapons. I am never for war, but when you got an individual using chemical weapons (also Assad has been losing you fools the only thing he has control of is basically Damascus) on the people then their needs to be something done.

    September 8, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  7. Beverly

    McCain is a psych-o. He isn't serious about his job, just his nut case sense of power he gets from his job.

    September 8, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  8. Evangelos

    "We're behind you 100 percent, Mr. President. Unless of course something - anything - goes even slightly wrong in this extremely complex and volatile situation, in which case we will savage you in the press, question your loyalty and citizenship all over again, hound you out of office and physically chase you and your family out of the White House and down Pennsylvania Avenue with pitchforks and torches. Good luck and Godspeed, sir." - the GOP

    September 8, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  9. Jim Burnetti

    John McCain thought Sarah Palin was qualified to be one heartbeat from the presidency. Nothing he says should be taken very seriously. He served his country well at one time. But it's time to head to the retirement village.

    September 8, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  10. Sara

    Mccain has no business even joining the conversation–he has become irrelevant as has his antiquated views on our country.

    September 8, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  11. Mike Julius

    McCain wants a stronger response, but threatens impeachment if there IS a stronger response? Okay then.

    September 8, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  12. Pelegrim

    Go back to playing poker on your phone.

    September 8, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. Sane Person

    McCain the warmonger.

    September 8, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  14. nonyabidnes2

    I guess now, we have to wait for the talking heads in the house to be heard..Too bad it seems like we are going to Syria without , first seeing the alledged proof...

    September 8, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  15. johnk

    Frist of all, McCain does not understand how long it takes for impeachment, Second our fearless leader, Obama is a lamb duck so he can do pretty much anything he wants without concern. Third, Syria never signed the non use of chemical weapons so they did what they wanted. Fourth, this whole issue is a legal matter and both the international court and the UN should step up and handle this matter no the United States. But just watch and see how we will get involved in the mess and it will drag us deeper and deeper intro it. How pathetic our govt and it joke of leaders really are.

    September 8, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  16. Jim

    Its just soo sad our state of affairs. McCain has fought tooth and nail these past few weeks he has lambasted Obama into a war with Syria. Now hes looking to impeach if boots hit the ground. Mandatory retirement...

    September 8, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  17. Rock Reynolds

    Child-killer McCain, looking out for our boys.
    What a "moderate" (compared to our other totally insane leaders, McCain's insanity is only "moderate".).
    McCain wants our boys to be able to illegally kill foreign civilians, from positions of safety.
    Thanks for your concern, John.
    What a dove...
    not.

    September 8, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  18. Belseth

    Ford was the last Republican President that didn't PUT BOOTS ON THE GROUND! During that same time frame if President Obama DID put boots on the ground he would the the FIRST Democrat to do so in all that time. Equal parts party politics and alzheimer's. The Republicans are the warmongers not the Democrats. FYI war is the largest source of discretionary spending for the US, programs like Social Security and Medicare aren't discretionary as Republicans claim. Road and bridge repair also aren't although they are treated as such.

    September 8, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  19. milopup09

    That crusty old devil wants it both ways. Attack Syria, but let me impeach Obama. Thank God this old fool never made it to the White House.

    September 8, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  20. PAPUS

    I THANK THE PICTURES ARE FAKES, AND THEY JUST WANT US AMERICANS TO ATTACK TO GIVE THEM THE CHANCE TO FIRE CHEMICAL WEAPONS ON USA, ALL OF THOSE PICTURES ARE FAKE

    September 8, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  21. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    The Republican Party puts their hatred for the president above everything, even common decency.

    September 8, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  22. VEW2012

    McCain is an idiot....he needs to pack it in and retire. If we are going to impeach anyone we'll start with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and that crew of misfits. They are the ones that created the biggest part of the problem in the Middle-east. Going into a war based on a lie is thumbing one's nose at the American people, and that is what George W. Bush did. That lie will made it hard for every president that follows.

    September 8, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  23. this is why Obama sent it to congress.

    The GOP is not going to say yes to Obama's war because deep down, they don't like Obama, so even though they have supported war from the get go, now that Obama puts it to congress, they are inevitably going to say no, which is what Obama wanted all along. He's a nobel peace prize winner after all. I highly doubt they just give those things out for nothing. Obama is not going to foolishly rush to war like the last Cowboy in Chief.

    September 8, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  24. Kim

    Benster, apparently your memory is short where Bush is concerned – he distinctly said he was not concerned about Bin Laden, he was only one man and that wasn't his focus – and he did not start the mission that ultimately killed Bin Laden. Sorry but you can keep spouting your lies on the internet too...doesn't make it so. You really are grasping on your other rants as well....just sayin.

    September 8, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  25. ted

    All the rightwingers are out today, continuing the lies of the Bush years. Thanks to bush, we had abject failures in Afghanistan and Iraq. bush and Cheney and Rummy and the rest of the rightwinger morons need to go to Gitmo for waterboarding and then to The Hague to face war crimes trials.

    September 8, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
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