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. Neverstoptrying

    Let's see. 60% of the American people do not want the US involved in Syria. Certain politicans are saying, What the hell. Let's do it anyway. Makes me think we work for the government instead of the government working for the people. Hopefully all of this will make some folks worry about their job security.

    September 8, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  2. pep

    McCain wants to eat his cake and have it too.

    September 8, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. St Xavier

    What will McCain answer be if McCain gets his way an Obama does attic Al-Assad's an his government an it back fires an the US is seen as the bad guy in this part of the world?????????????????????????????????

    September 8, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  4. AngryJohnny

    McCain sounds like John Kerry in the 2004 election. He was for it before he was against it. I could care less as long as we keep out involvement to a political one.

    September 8, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. Michael

    I've never been a fan of a mandatory retirement age— until now. This old coot needs to retire, and give us all a break. I'm as sick of hearing his comments as I am of hearing Sarah Pallen speak (oh BTW thanks Mr. McCain, for bringing that dingbat into the public forum too!)

    September 8, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  6. Anonymous

    That's becuase when it comes down to it, he doesn't know what he is doing, and neither does his staff. He botched Libya up as well and hasn't answered to anyone regarding the embassy killings and now this total debacle with Syria. We aren't out of Afganistan, which we should be by now. He was reelected because the republicans couldn't put a valid contender on the podium and now we stuck with him. This country is a mess. From the WH to Captiol Hill, it is pretty dang discusting.

    September 8, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. Gary

    McCain needs to be in a nursing home. How can you have bi-partisanship when you threaten people with impeachment? We should not get involved with Syria at all, but our leaders need to work together, no matter what party holds the presidency. I served under Reagan, Clinton, and Bush. They were all my C&C and I showed them the respect they were due.

    September 8, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. sim namore

    No. The President hasn't bungled anything. Look up 'bungled' in the dictionary and you'll find Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney shaking hands with Saddam and mugging big smiles for the camera. That's "bungled.' I think Mr McCain may have lost his mind–does he want war or not? I wish he'd make up his mind–it occurs to me as I write this that he might believe he's President of the United States. He's not. He lost. Now he needs to shut his yap.

    September 8, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. tonyt

    mccain wants to be on 5 sides of an issue.

    September 8, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  10. steve

    old men who play online poker during hearings have no credibility...Senator McCain is a bitter person who lost the presidency in 2008 because of sarah palin as VP, he needs to be ignored

    September 8, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  11. dinaosullivan

    This is an overt way the republicans plan to take President Obama down. They are voting no because they know his not receiving a vote of confidence from Congress will not be good for the president.This iis a political vote and not a humanitarian one. McCain is relishing his day in the spotlight with all his rhetoric about impeachment. They want to do this so badly, they will do anything. to get it done. This is not about Syria.This is about a chance to "win" since they lost the election.Obama can not please anyone no matter what he does and you know the reason why.

    September 8, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. obozco

    I can think of two no more worse individuals that we could have had in the last election than Obama and McCain...this is why one hates the other and vice versa! The United States today is a country laced with hatred and it will NEVER last! It is white against black in this country...this will be the ultimate and last showdown in a country that could not hold up past its mere 237 years past its inception. Too much freedom is bad...that is the lesson that should be learned from this failure to exist with Freedom unlimited!

    September 8, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  13. SpgfldTom

    Yep, urgent action is needed in Syria. That's why we have waited for 2 years and the Prez has elected to give his speech on Tuesday instead of a week ago. Congress has been shown a "compilation" (compilation, isn't that like "edited"?) video presentation of the atrocities. Real or Photo Shopped? Why do I get the feeling Obama is trying to sell me a 10 piece set of Ginsu knives I don't want or need? Like 5 day old fish this mess stinks!

    September 8, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  14. mikeinmiami

    John McCain is slowly becoming senile.

    September 8, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. Bobbie Jo Justice

    hey mccain, throw gwb the terrorist in jail first for treason (or execute him)

    September 8, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. george

    is this senility or just CINICISM???????? well just look at the source, his political life speak for himself.........Mc Cain is the Fouche of the American history

    September 8, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  17. EncinoMan

    I'll pay more attention to McCains opinions when he starts paying attention during the meetings on Syria instead of playing poker on his phone, then laughing about it while exclaiming how he lost thousands of dollars playing. Yeah, really sounds like McCain is concerned about Syria.

    September 8, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  18. Dave

    The man who chose half-Governor Palin for his VP has proven without a doubt he should not be trusted on serious decisions.

    McCain, you lost to this man once already. It's time you shut up now.

    September 8, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  19. M.A.P.

    The Republicans are just getting ridiculous now. "damned if he does, damned if he doesn't" seems to be the mantra of these idiots collectively called the GOP. What a bunch of cynical hypocrites with no morals and 0 patriotism. The Us's no 1 enemy is within – it is the moronic Republican Party. Bomb em, Bomb em now, but if he bombs them he's making a terrrible mistake. What do you want? You want the president to just let YOU decide what should happen? Hurry up and retire, this world has no use for you anymore.

    September 8, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  20. tony

    Thank god McCain didn't get elected when he ran. We'd be at war withe the entire rest of the world. (more than we are already)

    September 8, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  21. Marc

    What's amazing about this is that Obama, from the beginning, has said he'd not consider using ground troops at all, only wanting a limited strike via air. McCain knew this, and said Obama needed to do more to help topple Assad. Now, he's threatening impeachment if Obama ramps it up.

    September 8, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  22. Hillcrester

    Loose cannon McCan't is at it again. Sure am glad he isn't Prez McCan't.

    September 8, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  23. Two Words

    There are two words that automatically discredit ANYTHING this old fool has to say: SARAH PALIN.

    September 8, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  24. don in albuquerque

    Time to set Johnny a date for the rubber gun room.

    September 8, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  25. Colorbar

    I'm telling you – McCain is really losing it. His behavior is very much unbecoming a US senator, even with the bar being as low as it is. Stuck in the Vietnam war for all those years, and now going Alzheimer as well. Time to move to the old folks home.

    September 8, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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