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. reggie53

    I think what the government should do is to say that who ever is on welfare or unemployment for more than one year they should be made to join the military and deplored where ever needed. I bet you will see all those lazy democrats go out there and look for work rather than be in the military. They need to do this so that we can get these people working again rather than wait for their monthly government free handouts.

    March 3, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. Vic of New York

    What was that again, Sen. McCain? "The fundamentals are sound." Oh, yeah – aren't you the guy who picked Sarah Palin for Vice President? WE should DEFINITELY head your opinion. BTW – what ever happened to the Keating-5?

    March 3, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. it must be said

    It appears Obama just loves being used and abused by his good friend Vladimir Putin. First it was Syria and now the Ukraine. I guess it is pretty clear who is the master and who is the little grasshopper. I'm beginning to think Obama loves being humiliated by Putin. I wonder if Michelle owns a leash for him?

    March 3, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. LacrosseMom

    McCain is just wrong, as usual! These GOP/Teas ONLY option is WAR! We've had enough, 13 years and counting! We have WASTED.......$2 TRILLION.......and how many lives lost?!!!

    IF the Teapublicans want another war, let's draft every one of them and their families!

    March 3, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    smith

    Why is this a big deal? Russia is protecting their assests, we do it all the time.
    -------------------------
    By invading Ukraine, Russia has violated the international agreement and the treaty under which Ukraine had surrendered their Soviet era nuclear weapons back to Russia. In exchange for sovreignity and independence, they gave all of their nuclear material to Moscow.

    March 3, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. pana

    why not agree to lease access to Odessa and steversopol to Russia for good like we do in guantanomo those ports are in russias vital interests

    March 3, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. Dan

    McCain suggests interventions mentioned by administration (Kerrey) over the weekend and this is "strong" but by administration this is "weak". It is packaging and positioning, but McCain is done positioning other than maintaining his seat. He carries little sway within party, and he would be doing nothing different and be seen no stronger or weaker. The next Republican president will be in no better or worse a position than Obama was placed. Just like the QB in football, too much praise and blame is placed on presidency.

    March 3, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. Country Above the Parties

    We were just waiting for this Old Fa_t to open his mouth as his twin brother L. Graham. who care about your opinion after all you brought in Sara Palin–thanks god, they didnt win. Just to be opposite of every thing our POTUS does, they would be against baseball and Apple Pie it the president says they are his favorite. Disgusting...

    March 3, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Malory Archer

    reggie53

    I think what the government should do is to say that who ever is on welfare or unemployment for more than one year they should be made to join the military and deplored where ever needed. I bet you will see all those lazy democrats go out there and look for work rather than be in the military. They need to do this so that we can get these people working again rather than wait for their monthly government free handouts.

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

    Yeah except the vast majority of welfare recipients are children, elderly and the working poor – mainly women with children, andthe long-term unemployed are the over-fifty crowd, and therefore too old to enlist. And what about the military members who are ALREADY on welfare – should they be immediately ordered to the front line of this new war your ilk is clamoring to start? As for your childish remark about "lazy democrats", does that mean that you feel that the elderly, working poor women and long-term unemployed who vote rethug should be exempt from such requirements? Wow. Just.... wow.

    March 3, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. Carly

    Just shut your mouth McCain. You talk about credibility, well you LOST all of yours when you selected that nitwit for your running mate. UNTIL you admit your mistake, you have zero credibility. Try being constructive with your comments instead of always resenting the victor. You lost for a reason big guy. Why don't you retire and live off your wife's money and all Veteran benefits you will get but denied to our real heroes? You are exactly what this country does not need.

    March 3, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. Smitty

    Im sure the Admin that CANT EVEN OPEN A WEBSITE!! Will cower with shame !!!

    March 3, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. OceanBlue

    This is what weakens America. I like McCain, but instead of openly criticizing the prez which makes us look like a bunch of bickering buffoons to the rest of the world, he should spend his energy figuring how to get together with the prez and get everyone to roll up their sleeves and come up with a unified approach to this...

    Outwardly criticizing our Ommander in Chief at this time just weakens us in the world'is eyes.... John, you know this – you are also one of the best people to HELP our Commander in Chief at this time – you know that openly disagreeing and criticizing appears to weaken us.... Get back to Washington & help.... You role on the Foreign Relations Committee is NOTto criticize our government it is to strengthen this country in the eyes of the world !!!!!

    March 3, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. Malory Archer

    March 3, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |

    it must be said

    It appears Obama just loves being used and abused by his good friend Vladimir Putin. First it was Syria and now the Ukraine. I guess it is pretty clear who is the master and who is the little grasshopper. I'm beginning to think Obama loves being humiliated by Putin. I wonder if Michelle owns a leash for him?

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

    I'm sorry, but I fail to see how the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue's soul mate is "humiliating" President Obama. Since YOU'RE so well-versed on the subject, howsabout YOU provide a detailed narrative of that "humiliation"?

    March 3, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. Bill from GA

    The weakness of our foreign policy is the result of our needless, and probably unlawful, invasion of Iraq under W, as well as our divided government which gives little or no support to our elected leader.

    When Putin wanted to invade Crimea, he got 100% support from his Parliament. When Obama wanted to take some action in Syria, his Congress offered NO support.

    Also, any notion that President Obama has weakened our military is senseless. Without more revenue, we can not afford the level of military spending that we have had recently. Repubs love to spend on the military, but they hate to pay for it.

    March 3, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  15. Ed

    Thank god he never became president. His misreading of foreign relations over the last few years has been shocking. He might need to shut up for a while and quit trying to undermine the president during times of crisis. He is putting politics before the good of his country.

    March 3, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. Bill from GA

    Here's a (not too serious) solution:

    Ukraine gave up nukes and Russia said they would recognize its Sovereignty. If Russia reneges, we loan Ukraine a few of our nukes. We'd see how tough Putie is then.

    If Ronnie Regan could give Saddam Hussein chemical weapons to use, why can't we give Ukraine a few nukes??

    March 3, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. Silence DoGood

    Bill from GA
    The weakness of our foreign policy is the result of our needless, and probably unlawful, invasion of Iraq under W, as well as our divided government which gives little or no support to our elected leader.

    When Putin wanted to invade Crimea, he got 100% support from his Parliament. When Obama wanted to take some action in Syria, his Congress offered NO support.

    Also, any notion that President Obama has weakened our military is senseless. Without more revenue, we can not afford the level of military spending that we have had recently. Repubs love to spend on the military, but they hate to pay for it.
    -------------
    "Repubs love to spend on the military, but they hate to pay for it."
    Yes indeed! They are always full of false concern for paying for something before we spend it. So why did the national debt spike up with no oversight during the Iraq Cowboy invasion of Lies campaign?

    March 3, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. behaviorquest

    This certainly doesn't laud complements onto those from Virginia now does it?

    March 3, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  19. Smitty

    Well, Mitty and Sarah both said Russia was a threat and Obumbles as usual didn't see it !!!!

    March 3, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. Chris-E...al

    I Believe ? I may be wrong ? I think if 0bama went to Kiev him self the Russians would pack up and go back home in a hurry .With no questions askd .Just his presence that close to the border would be enogh to sway them to withdraw and prevent war maybe .

    March 3, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. Tony

    If McCain had been president, America would have declared war on Iran, World War III would have started, and Russia would not have time to invade Ukraine, assuming that the world still exists.

    March 3, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  22. Marie MD

    @reggie53, that is your solution to unemployment. Make people go into the military?
    You do realize that most welfare (granted not unemployment recipients because they ARE on welfare) are in southern states and most are probably teaklans who keep voting against their own best interest?
    I don't listen to the oxyaddict fat radio boy nor faux news but the talking points from your side is hilarious and so untrue. It's mind boggling!

    March 3, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. Marie MD

    @smitty, regardless of what the twit and the screecher said, it's still not our problem.

    March 3, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. Chris-E...al

    IF 0bama and McCain were to go to Kiev ? The Russians would pull out in a hurry for sure .?

    March 3, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. Tampa Tim

    Suddenly, right wingnuts are trying to find something Mittens said that was relevant. How about, "The trees in Crimea are just the right size?" Does this mean that the GOBaggers are going to go with Mittens again?

    March 3, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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