September 7th, 2013
06:52 PM ET
9 years 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.

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"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. wonja blohwme

    McCain is a useful idiot of the liberal media and Dem Party. Every time the media wants to attack Republicans, they ask idiot McCain for a quote.
    He's completely out of touch with the people of Arizona.

    September 8, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  2. Secession Solution

    Send this cretin off to a nursing home. Maybe he'll be in a better mood if they change his diaper.

    September 8, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  3. Mike

    Come on people! He's a "Maverick"!

    A somewhat aging, contradictory at times demented (or is it dementia?) "Maverick".
    McCain is a joke that I'm sure his own party wants gone.
    Hard to believe I used to like this guy about 15 years ago.

    He is a perfect example for term limits.

    September 8, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  4. BobbyRay

    He also warned Obama not to draw on an inside straight.

    September 8, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  5. Taggot

    Hey McCain, we are still waiting for you to pay the taxpayers back for that jet you crashed in Vietnam.

    September 8, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  6. Nagrad

    McCain the warmonger, who has wanted serious US involvement in Syria for MONTHS, is now threatening impeachment if the President does what McCain himself has wanted? Is his alzheimers that bad already? Methinks it's time for McCain to retire – or the good people of AZ to vote him out of office.

    September 8, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  7. Mr. Patton

    Was this before the video poker game or after?

    September 8, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. Robert Reid

    Lack of decieveness is hurting his credibility.

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

    I think the president should get the Arab league to do something. They are always complaining about American intervention then why don't they do something to clean up their mess.

    I am against any ground troops and I don't want the US to do the bombing without Arab league involvement. The best thing the US could do is tell the middle east it is your problem and bring our troops home. Use the money we are spending bombing people to find alternative energy sources so we leave the middle east behind us.

    September 8, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  10. B

    Sammy zoso: It was a poker game; not a solitare game. Get your facts straight before you try to bash someone.

    September 8, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  11. Ricard

    A minimal strike against Assad will do absolutely nothing to help stabilize Syria. As atrocious as Assad's gassing of his own people is, we do not need to get involved in another mid-East conflict. It will take years, even decades, for these non-secular regimes to understand, yet implement, a democratic government. A strike against Assad will not stabilize the area only do more to destabilize an already dictator driven country.

    September 8, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  12. KC

    @wonja blohwme You say McCain is out of touch with Arizona. Then why do you keep reelecting him? I think McCain is exactly what Arizona is about and that is why you keep reelecting him.

    September 8, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. KC

    There is no reason for an American response. It is not the first time the US gov't has looked the other way with chemical weapons (Iraq vs Iran).

    September 8, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. David L Laidig

    There are no good people in AZ Nagrad

    September 8, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  15. Lenny Pincus

    Actually, McCain typifies Republicans: ill-informed, easily distracted, petty, no moral center, paranoid, angry, bad judgement, hypocrite, obsessed with money, no loyalty, law-breaker, etc.

    September 8, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. Millerbarber

    John go play iPhone poker. I have completely lost all respect or you. Be a man say NO BOMBS

    September 8, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. cbp

    Is Sen.. McCain trying to place himself above the President? He has really gone too far. We are now 11 years into a war that the former President declared to be over. Never once did he complain about that nor did he complain about leaving Afghanistan before that war was over. Perhaps he believes that this is different but it is not Let's talk about Assad's use of poison gas and the reality of what that meant. Base your decision on this action and what should be done about it. Perhaps he should go to Syria and admonish Assad who happens to be the villain in this story.

    September 8, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  18. Impeach - Now

    Please. Soon.

    September 8, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. Dr. Moskal

    It's amazing how quickly he changes his tune in 10 years! WHAT A USELESS EXCUSE FOR A POLITICIAN! Impeach. Is that the ONLY word Republicans know how to pronounce correctly?! Stay in Arizona, McCain, with the rest of the dried-up brains!

    September 8, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  20. Ngau Hu Phart

    He underscores the poor public announcements he is noted for. But now I wish I could withdraw my support for the other guy.

    September 8, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. ag

    The whole "no boots on ground" is a sham. They conveniently fail to mention that the "no boots on ground" applies only to combat zones. It is not applicable to non-combat zones.

    September 8, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. Jim Rome

    Wow, based on the posts here, people are starting to actually get it. The US spent $700 BILLION on war last year alone, and entire US corporations depend on sustainable conflict for their paychecks. And those corporations pour gasoline on global fires every way they can, by influencing senators, by behind the scenes attacks, publicity stunts, and calls for impeachment. The CEO of Halliburton, one of the biggest war services companies, made $28 million last year, all from taxpayer dollars.

    The US war machine is out of control. We have spent trillions on a Middle East boondoggle, blowing things up and rebuilding them and blowing them up again, that we have no Hoover Dam to show for it. We have no US highway system to show for it. We have no cross country bullet train, we have crumbling bridges and Veterans who wait years for medical treatment.


    September 8, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. carlos

    McCain you should be impeached for not only raising the idea of reducing Veteran Education Benefits, then say we get enough money to go to College, then cutting are funding in half. You promised we could get an education. Liar.

    September 8, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  24. Adam

    So where is the impeachment for Bush and Chenney for 'Boots on the ground' in Iraq. As Bon Qui Qui said 'Time to go...' Bye Bye McMain – educated people of the 21st century won't stand for war as a manner to settle disputes as opposed to the dinasour times YOU come from!!

    September 8, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. Shan

    I find Mr Mccain changes his views every other day. I am not sure why?
    I thought he is an honorable man . shame on him

    September 8, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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