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. James

    Honestly these people make me sick. When Bush and Cheney fabricated evidence and lied they never brought up the word impeachment and yet they threaten this. Honestly there will be a French style revolution if these elite idiots try to impeach a president who has done nothing wrong

    September 8, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. steve

    How did that go, John: "Bomb, bomb, bomb. Bomb, bomb Iran"? Something like that wasn't it?

    September 8, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  3. Andy in Vic

    Seriously? The increasingly deranged and thoroughly discredited superhawk McCain is talking IMPEACHMENT? Were there no lessons learned from the Clinton affair?

    September 8, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  4. NameGoose

    To late Obama blew it. What's new!

    September 8, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  5. Darla44

    Forget boots on the ground. It's Starting this war against the will of the American people that should open up impeachment hearings. We already know this war would quickly escalate to other countries. Notice it's boots on the ground in "Syria". No mention of Iran or other countries.

    September 8, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. No War

    That's funny, he's been dismissing every single detractor, and now he is trying to pass the blame onto someone as equally guilty as he.

    September 8, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  7. Just sayin

    Grounds for impeachment are treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors. Like the choice the president makes or not, I don't think that it rises to that level.

    September 8, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. Howie

    go back to playing video poker, and leave the big decisions to those that actually care.

    September 8, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  9. Ctrygrl

    Oh for heaven's sake John, if it had been you in the white house we would have had troops in Libya, troops in Egypt, troops in Syria and a war with Iran. Get over it you are not the president. Having said that I do sincerely agree that Mr. Obama should have left you jerks in the do nothing congress out of this and went ahead and bombed.

    September 8, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. Rich

    First McCain is OB's backer, now he threatens impeachment? Give me a break. Make up your mind...

    September 8, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. vinster76

    the hypocrisy comes directly to us from this white house, same with the bumbling of the aftermath of the national dialogue........this guy is Bush on steroids.....please, if you criticize anyone, place it squarely where it belongs......1600 Pennnsylvania Avenue...

    September 8, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. Michael

    Retire John. It's time.

    September 8, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. stevetall

    McCain, always the clown. What is this guy's main malfunction? I think it's time for him to be turned out to pasture.

    September 8, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. giggy

    Dear Mr. President, please do not bow to these war mungers who would not support health care yet would commit more murder to support a condeming of murder. and in the end we will have to talk about it. 1600 people dead vs world war three with millions dead. That is a no brainer, only the made in the USA sarin gas was used and the question is who stands to gain. Follow the money and it is the weapons industry that want war.

    September 8, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  15. Name Habib Hayat

    If US strike Syria then it will be irresistavle to be boots om ground as the evemts will turn any decision have to have its proms and cons...we need to calculate every step I'm advance as from Koream,Vietnam and latest Iraq,Libya and Aghanistan interventions are viable examples..Hayat USA

    September 8, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. nic

    Sit down McCain, is it ok for you to flip flop back and forth? Yet, you stand beside the President then run to another higher point of views and threat impeach (lets recall Clinton). Do think the American people don’t have a say in any impeachment of the President? You can get fired or impeach too, the American people voted and does have voices which stop the impeachment of Clinton (didn’t get impeach now didn’t he)? Here is some food for thought, quit over stepping your position; you are not the leader of this country. We as people stand beside all politicians in our country why can’t you stand beside your colleagues without complaining. Stop picking sides when everyone is on the same side. Seems to me a lot of people are confused on how to deal with this ongoing civil war yet there is a lot of underlying here on who and how and what way to support it. Politicians have a tough job to do and the American will stand behind any decisions (we may not agree with them all). Least everyone can come together and vote on something from time to time. Don’t throw your weight around when it’s unwanted; throw your weight around in helping figuring out a solution like all the rest of your coworkers are doing.

    September 8, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. mostafa

    Go for it obama .

    September 8, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  18. Donald forry

    Obama bin laden the christians of Syria will be left on your hands

    September 8, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  19. Hussain

    This guy is pathetic, after pushing the president to go to war in Syria, now he wars of impeachment. Unbelievable!!!

    September 8, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. San Francisco


    Why is CNN continually showing pictures of innocent men, women, and children killed recently? No matter how a person dies, they're dead. That's all there is to it. If the American public were bombarded with endless pictures of innocent people killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, killings ordered by the U.S. Military, there would be tremendous outrage. Why are the soldiers returning from war with PTSD, suicidal thoughts, and anger? Because they've seen what the American public is mostly shielded from – the atrocities that the U.S. Military has consented to, whether people have been bombed, shot at and killed, etc. The list goes on.

    It seems a propaganda tool on the part of CNN to continually show the results of people being gassed in Syria, a tool to get the American public outraged and vote for a strike. I'm not buying it one bit.

    I am TOTALLY AGAINST any type of strike in Syria. The 21st Century demands intelligence, cooperation among countries, and a continual discussion regarding searching for peaceful resolutions. There is no more room for caveman-style, sandbox political stances of impulsively resorting to war.

    McCain, the idea of okaying a strike on Syria and then warning President Obama that if there are boots on the ground, it would be grounds for impeachment? Who are you kidding? As soon as there is a strike, other countries will want to retaliate. This is a huge Pandora's Box waiting to happen, a huge powder keg that could explode.

    The U.S. DOES NOT need to put their claws in yet another civil war.

    Meanwhile, back in the U.S., schools are so underfunded that they're failing miserably, social services have been cut drastically, and the care that soldiers returning from war desperately need has not truly materialized. The money is going towards defense, way too much of it. It's an outrage!

    McCain, it seems, in my opinion, that your consistent warmonger attitude is no longer a fit with the 21st Century. I feel that it's time for you to retire from politics altogether.

    September 8, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. KimZ

    McCain is FINALLY hearing the message how angry the American people are about his constant warmongering. Unfortunately he has painted himself into a corner. He is demanding not only that we do the strikes but give arms to the rebels. So what happens if THAT doesn't pan out? If we see Assad doing a Saddam or Noriega version of a defiant pose against the U.S. and still firmly in charge? The U.S. is either in or out. We can't be both. The American people understand there's no point going in - it's not a security risk to us and is nothing but one never-ending religious war. It's a bottomless pit of money and lives that we don't need to enter. I hope this costs him his seat next time.

    September 8, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  22. Washington State Moderate

    What is happening here? We are experiencing a real debate in Congress and the public about the real value of military actions. We are not coming along like sheep. Viet Nam, Iraq, and Afghanistan are lessons learned. Thank God these lessons are finally taking hold. John McCain is an honorable man but he is living in the past. I thank President Obama for this time out. It was the right thing to do. I hope this occurs whenever we are considering these matters

    September 8, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. Francisco

    Lol.. McCain is suffering from dimentia. Since day one Obama has been talking about no boots on the ground. And now McCain is warning Obama not to do such a thing. Not counting that when this all started, McCain was the one saying we need to show a very strong response.

    September 8, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. adoptedusa

    Mr. McCain seems to be talking from both side of his mouth. Can you please makeup your mind sir? On one hand you want to go a lot further than Mr. Obama, on the other hand you want to impeach him if he does more. Aren't you guys talking about going to Syria long before POTUS's not so smart "RED LINE" comment? I think we know what you really want. Your motive is Iran, isn't it sir? You want to sandwich Iran in between Iraq & Syria. You definitely haven't got over that hostage situation yet. You want to teach those backward Mullah a tough lesson, don't you Mr McCain?
    We Americans have no problem with that, however, at this point we are just a little tired of war, why can't you see that sir? We are still licking our wounds from Iraq and Afghanistan, now are you are trying to make sure those wounds get infected.
    Once, I had a lot of respect for you, some of that respects were lost when you picked Paling foolishly, rest of it is going down the drain very quickly!

    September 8, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. Mike

    Well at least McCain is showing his true colors. He wants Obama to do everything short of "boots on the ground" and then wants to impeach Obama if McCain's plan blows up in Obama's face. John, get over it, you lost the 2008 election!

    September 8, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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