McCain: Ukraine crisis result of 'feckless' foreign policy
March 3rd, 2014
11:50 AM ET
10 months ago

McCain: Ukraine crisis result of 'feckless' foreign policy

Washington (CNN) - Sen. John McCain says the escalating crisis in Ukraine is the result of what he calls a "feckless foreign policy" by the White House.

Speaking Monday at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual conference in the nation's capital, the Republican senator from Arizona was critical of the man he lost to in the 2008 presidential election.

"The President of the United states believes that the Cold War is over. That's fine, it is over but (Russian President Vladimir) Putin doesn't believe it's over. He doesn't believe that this is a zero sum game. Look at Moldova. Look at the occupation of Georgia. Look at the pressure on the Baltic nations. Look at what they are doing in assisting (Syrian President Bashar al) Assad slaughter tens of thousands of innocent people in cities and towns and the countryside all over Syria. It is an outrage," McCain said.

McCain added that Putin's use of military force in the Crimean Peninsula, an autonomous region of eastern Ukraine with strong loyalty to Moscow, "is the ultimate result of feckless foreign policy where nobody believes in America's strength anymore."

Watch: Sen. John McCain will appear on CNN's "Wolf" with Wolf Blitzer at 1 p.m. ET.

McCain, a vocal critic of Obama when it comes to foreign policy, has used the word "feckless" in the past to describe the President's response to international crises. The senator is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Discussing what options the United States has in responding to Moscow, McCain said "I have to be very honest with you there is not a military option that could be exercised now but the most powerful and biggest and strongest nation in the world should have plenty of options. And those options are many."

Earlier Monday, Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Monday the best leverage the U.S. can exert for now is "financial."

"The Achilles heel for Russia is their economy–the ruble," the California Republican said on CNN's "New Day."

"We have to lead and we have to rally Europe around a series of steps that would actually impact the Russians economically: sanctions against state-owned banks," he added.

Secretary of State John Kerry, due in Kiev Tuesday, said several foreign powers are looking at economic consequences if Russia does not withdraw its forces.

CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Ashley Killough contributed to this report


Filed under: AIPAC • John McCain • Ukraine
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. king

    what with these repjubs, all they do is criticize criticize criticize. when president Obama was about to go into syria they criticized him to death for not going through congress, when he was about to go through congress they threatened to veto or kill his authorization to go into syria, now they are saying that hes week. for the majority of congress to undermined this president at every turn domestically and internationally, is leaning on treason. they have fight light hell to undermine this president just to call him weak. we are not a dictatorship, congress has as much power or even more power because they have the power of the purse, and for them to act just to render this president powerless because a bunch of tea partier send them to congress to block everything he does just to call him weak, then turn around and say that hes weak should be tried for espionage. what did they expect when they plan was to kll every thing ths president does, no matter if they were for it until he got on board, did they think he would look strong in the eyes of the world, or look weak the way the repubs and the teapartiers planed and execute ifficiently.

    March 3, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. sonny chapman

    While we're Finger Pointing,because of W.'s Iraq Debacle, America does not stand on solid Moral Grounds to be telling Russia that their "fears" of Security Concerns for Russian Speaking Ukrainians is a PRETEXT for its Invasion & Occupation. The Rest of the World doesn't view the WMD hoax as a MISTAKE. They think Cheney wanted to "Do" Iraq for the Oil & Military Bases. The Rest of the World may be right.

    March 3, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. Flagship, NC

    Mccain's child like rant make no sense. What does he want done differently?

    March 3, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. mccain owes america one jet fighter

    "Many options"
    As usual the Great Senator from the Great State of Arizona provides not a single option. US military attention was diverted to the Middle East side theater by the Great President GW Bush and his Illustrious Cabinet. The US is slowly transitioning to the Asian theater which is our biggest threat. This is not a US failure but a EU failure to strengthen their armed forces to keep Putin at bay. They had decades but seem to be stuck in a post WWII trauma still. Mccain knows this but is just thinking how to boost GOP chances in the next election.

    March 3, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    ghostwriter
    The funniest part is that this is the guy who took out bin Laden and was the mastermind behind our international NSA spying (to let them tell it). Sounds like a heck of a softy to me
    -–

    Risking other peoples lives is not a sign of toughness. The only toughness displayed by Obama has been in his determination to drive this country into financial ruin.

    March 3, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  6. Abbey

    Only tied? Even with the Christie bad news? Oh my god that fella Rachel Maddow at MSNBC will exploded on this news. lmao

    March 3, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. rick7809

    Old John is a military guy whose only answers are military answers. I am sure he (and his GOTEA Party friends) just want to start another war to see how far they can raise their stock portfolios. As for the world respecting the President, If half of our own country has no respect for him, why will anyone outside the country?

    March 3, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. Abbey

    Democrats have a new American Cowboy with a reckless foreign policy....his name is Six-Finger Obama.

    March 3, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. Mr. Moderate

    And if McCain had won, things would not be any different, except the moral high ground we sacrificed in Iraq would have been further harmed by him putting troops in Syria and Iran.

    I'm still waiting for this crowd to blame Obama for the Ukraine giving up their nuclear weapons, a move that was praised by the entire international community when it happened in 1994!

    March 3, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. Marie MD

    You are talking feckless? How weak were you when you decided to walk the plank and pick the screecher from AK as your running mate?
    I bet you are still blaming everyone but yourself for being feckless.

    March 3, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    yolanda

    @Robert, you mean you want McCain to behave with the professionalism and respect shown by Reid toward Bush? Oh, that's right, it was Reid who called Bush a liar publicly. I guess that was different, though, huh?
    -------------------------
    And Bush had lied. He lied to the people of Nevada efore the 2004 election that he wouldn't let Yucca Mountain turn into a nuclear waste dump for the nation's nuclear waste. Bush won Nevada. In less than a week, Bush reneged on his promise and declared that the nation's waste nuclear fuel depot would be built in Nevada, inside Yucca Mountain. Bush lied to win.

    March 3, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  12. smith

    Why is this a big deal? Russia is protecting their assests, we do it all the time.

    March 3, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @Abbey
    Democrats have a new American Cowboy with a reckless foreign policy....his name is Six-Finger Obama.

    Huh?

    March 3, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. TONE

    Republiclowns just recently voted a bill down to help military vets now they want them to go to war, are these people for real how disgusting can these people get.

    March 3, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  15. Malory Archer

    yolanda

    @Robert, you mean you want McCain to behave with the professionalism and respect shown by Reid toward Bush? Oh, that's right, it was Reid who called Bush a liar publicly. I guess that was different, though, huh?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Uh yeah, it WAS different. Senator Reid didn't call the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue a liar during a a televised speech that he was making to a joint session of Congress. Can you say "false equivilence"?

    March 3, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. Malory Archer

    mccain owes america one jet fighter

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Actually, he owes us three as that's the number of fighter jets he crashed. Additionally, he owes one air craft carrier as that is the number of carriers torched during one of those hotdogging sessions in which he destroyed a fighter jet.

    March 3, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. No Way No How

    Weakness and appeasement invites the tyrants of the world to act up. Had Obama read more history books and fewer Saul Alinsky books, he'd know this. But this all presumes he even cares what Russia does.

    I think Obama Doctrine can best be stated as "Don't Act, Don't Care", or maybe even "I See Nothing, I Hear Nothing, I Know Nothing". Either way it is seen as a green light for aggressors all over the globe.

    March 3, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  18. rs

    yolanda

    @Robert, you mean you want McCain to behave with the professionalism and respect shown by Reid toward Bush? Oh, that's right, it was Reid who called Bush a liar publicly. I guess that was different, though, huh?
    ___________________________
    Unfortunately, in regards to Bush, it happened to be true. In this case, no matter what the President of the United States does, the yipper dogs of the GOP will complain- and yes, that is true also.

    March 3, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. Tampa Tim

    Now the right wing nut jobs think that dealing with the world community is reckless foreign policy? Pretty dumb isn't it? Republicans shoot first and then find out they were in the wrong country. McCain and the baggers are a sad joke.

    March 3, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. Malory Archer

    Anonymous

    ghostwriter
    The funniest part is that this is the guy who took out bin Laden and was the mastermind behind our international NSA spying (to let them tell it). Sounds like a heck of a softy to me
    -–

    Risking other peoples lives is not a sign of toughness.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Isn't that precisely what mcwar and the other warmongers have in mind in their clamoring for American military action in Ukraine?

    March 3, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  21. av

    If Reps were in WH, we would have already fought Libya, Syria, Iran, North Korea and now Russia. How come all these Reps are so eager to start war with any country out there.
    Obama acted sensibly on all these fronts so far, economy is in very good state. What else they expect? It is Reps prime time business to criticize and blame Obama for everything that goes wrong.

    March 3, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  22. Malory Archer

    Abbey

    Democrats have a new American Cowboy with a reckless foreign policy....his name is Six-Finger Obama.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yeah, except President Obama isn't the one chomping at the bit to start a war in Eastern Europe – that's all on YOUR beloved warmongering rethugs.

    March 3, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  23. Tampa Tim

    John McCain knows better to spew this crap. But, he is a bitter little person, with average intelligence and must believe Hannity's lies?

    March 3, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Malory Archer
    Anonymous
    ghostwriter
    The funniest part is that this is the guy who took out bin Laden and was the mastermind behind our international NSA spying (to let them tell it). Sounds like a heck of a softy to me
    -–
    Risking other peoples lives is not a sign of toughness.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Isn't that precisely what mcwar and the other warmongers have in mind in their clamoring for American military action in Ukraine?
    ---

    Obama's supporters like you always point to the Obama raid as a sign of Obama toughness. It is not. John McCain is not talking about the military and attributing their toughness to himself. Please get a clue.

    March 3, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. love344

    McCain, GOP and tea baggers need to go sit down somewhere be quiet

    March 3, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
1 2 3 4