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. Wal

    A step in the right direction Mr McCain, but better still oppose any intervention in Syria .

    September 8, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  2. EASLO

    Syria is going to do anything to get a reaction out of the United States. We should allow Syria to do whatever to themselves. If they wanna use chemical weapons on their own country allow them. The U.S. has no rights there, we were not attacked and we should learn to stay out of the business of other nations until we have to intervene. Don't use government money for wasteful spending like were still doing for Iraq and Afghanistan. Its stupid for us to still be there. Don't make our troops ie for no reason.

    September 8, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  3. NameRichard Gonzales

    Mr Obama is a chicken. He also can not accept responsiblity for anything. He drew the red line, not the world or us. He should have bombed at once. Now, it is too late. I say, don't bomb.

    September 8, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  4. Steve

    Good grief, McCain, get over your loss to Obama in '08 already.

    September 8, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  5. Brian

    Lord, please help us get these confused old men out of our government. They are ruining the minds of the people of this country. Mr McCain please retire, sir.

    September 8, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. JT

    No one cares what you said Mr. McCain. You already lost your credibility in 2002 when you accused Saddam Hussiain.

    September 8, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  7. Shaman

    Obama is doing everything possible to let the cat out of the bag, and not take personal responsibility for any of this. He's hoping Congress will vote against intervention in Syria. He doesn't care about anything, folks, that is, other than himself. If the UN has any virtue left (it's laughable what the UN's become), it should do the intervening. But then, they have terrorist nations on their human rights committees. We have to stop funding these nations that sponsor terror. That's the real bottom line. That goes for Syria, the Palestinians, Iranians, Egyptians.

    September 8, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  8. tim

    Please John. Do the world a favor and just disappear. This guy has nothing to lose. The seventeen soldiers I personally knew that died in South East Asia were better men than Johnny McDonald could ever be.

    September 8, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  9. vinster76

    I have read comment after comment about how McCain needs to retire. The entire fault of this current debacle, shameful at best, incompetent at worst, is squarely at the feet of the president....He wanted to talk tough about a red line, decided to strike, the media played repeats of his speeches years ago where he referred to airstrikes as unconstitutional, it got national and international coverage showing Obama and his profound hypocrisy, his ego was injured, so now he has to do this.......have I cleared this all up for you, I hope so......because one thing I am learning from reading some of your posts, is this: common sense is NOT common......

    September 8, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  10. Fred Flintstone

    To bad ZOD is such an obama lover and can't see thru this disaster of a president.

    September 8, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  11. vinster76

    let us place the blame for this entire debacle at the feet of it's author: Obama......plain and simple

    September 8, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  12. pbernasc

    Impeachment for what ? ha ha Delusional grandpa

    September 8, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  13. Jerry

    McCain needs to retire he evidently can't hear well anymore. The president said he would "not" put boots on the ground.

    September 8, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  14. BillC

    When McCain agrees with President Obama it's time to look the other way on ANYTHING he suggests! No War! No War! No War! No War! No War! No War!

    September 8, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  15. Jess

    I would like to see some of you get in office and try to make decision like these...for God Sake this can not be easy.
    We do not know seriously if the video of these people are real. Think about it...they said bin laden died back in 2001 from cancer, then all of a sudden, Obama, said they got him. With all this NWO and overthrowing every African President in the African nations should make everyone wonder what the heck is going on...

    September 8, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  16. Casey Collins

    This is his usual staging for his 2014 re-election bid. He moves to middle, appeases GOP FAR right, then reverts back to the middle. Republicans use the term impeachment liberally (no pun intended). I hope that we don't see the same ole same ole in 2014 and 2016. I don't know about everyone else, but I'm tired of them all.

    September 8, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  17. XDOW is back

    100 Million people in our country support Obama. Impeach him and all hell will break loose.

    September 8, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  18. us_1776

    McCain, you must have been playing video poker when the president said that we were not putting boots on the ground.

    .

    September 8, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  19. Andrey

    So McCain would give his own mother to have this new war, but nobody takes it. So here goes Obama...

    September 8, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  20. Chris

    meh....IPHONE poker must have been down. Nothing to see here.

    September 8, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  21. Sue Pearlative

    OK, if boots on the ground are prohibited, then clearly the mission is just to spank assad for the bombing that he may have been guilty of. It's clearly not part of the mission to tip the balance in favor of the rebels. So a lot of innocent ppl have to die so that we can spank assad for what he may have done.

    OK then – my question then is – and I don't understand this, will someone please explain it to me. WHY is obama and his administration pushing so hard for this like the sky is going to fall if we don't do this, when back when Saddam gassed the Kurds with sarin, we did NOTHING and we didn't even SAY anything.

    September 8, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  22. Ward Cleaver

    Grand Standing from the ole pilot.

    September 8, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  23. Yom Kapar

    I SURE MISS BUSH! Our enemies were scared of him and they knew he wasnt all talk unlike our current commander in chief....

    September 8, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  24. bergus

    whose side are you on mccain? you think that boots on ground is bad, but launching a bunch of missiles and air assaults on them WON'T land us in another war against muslim extremists again in 3 years? wake up and go visit reality again. apparently, you've been 'on vacation'.

    September 8, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  25. Linda

    Only in your dreams, McCain.

    September 8, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41