September 7th, 2013
06:52 PM ET
10 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. Faux Scandals

    I was for it before I was against it.

    September 8, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. davidbatterson

    I support McCain and his opinion, but why didn't President Bush get impeached for putting boots on the ground in Iraq? He didn't declare war on Iraq, nor did he have the support of Congress or the house to start a war with Iraq. What's good for one president has to be good for the other no matter what party they represent.

    September 8, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. famousboot

    Hmmm. Why was this warning even necessary? Was it a shout out to his GOP homies? "Gosh, I agree with Obama that we should strike, but a shout out to my peeps!" ? Obama has *ever* said he wants a ground war. Limited strike, y'all.

    September 8, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. Evelyn Waugh

    When we are having a discussion about taking free school lunches from poor children who cannot afford to eat ... What the heck are we doing having a discussion about spending millions of dollars on bombing a country I could care less about. Let them work out their own issues. We have enough Domestic issues of our own to work on.

    September 8, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Jimmy Moore

    It's okay for a Republican president to start two wars against two countries who did absolutely nothing to us directly. But, here is the double standard. At the same time when are we going to just stay out of other people's civil wars? As for as atrocities...well Sherman burned down Atlanta...etc. etc. etc.

    September 8, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. Larry L

    @Name DavIid

    The US should completely wipe out the Syrian regime and render the army and rebels helpless.
    You need to study Syria before speaking. If you team-up Syria, Iran and Russia you'll create WWIII. America does not have the non-nuclear capability to take on this challenge – after twelve years of war and a population completely sdverse to policing the planet. Are you ready to put your boots on the ground in Syria?

    September 8, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. Dave in Indy

    Disgustingly cynical politician.

    September 8, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. Roy

    Don't do it. Stay out of Syria completely. Let the Syrians deal with their own problems.

    September 8, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. al

    Damned if you do and double damned if you dont

    September 8, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. Anastasia Beaverhausen

    Get over it already McCain. You lost.

    September 8, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. Alan

    We should all get down on our knees each morning, and thank the good Lord that McCain/Palin weren't elected in 2008.

    September 8, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  12. tom

    McCain.......sit down and shut up will ya!

    September 8, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. LEK

    With statements like these is exactly why we need term limits. Little John hasn't gotten over the fact that he was rejected by the American People to sit in the oval office.

    September 8, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. ofthehighest

    He knows that the House of Representatives will not approve of the strike if boots on the ground are included, so he is pushing ahead by offering a compromise. The fact is that any strike3 on Syria it is an act of war. He should be impeached for conspiring with an illegitimate "president" and other enemies of the United States.

    September 8, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. Jackson

    Impeachment, the GOP answer to when they lose an election.

    September 8, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. Name

    I authorize McCain to use force to impeach himself.... No wait I authorize Obama to impeach McCain. No Obama should impeach himself then try to get McCain impeached...yea that's it

    September 8, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. Greg

    Senator, you lost the 2008 election. Get over it. I know you are bitter, but Obama runs the country. We should have no involvement in Syria. And inpeachment? It's enough to make a cat laugh. You tried it with Clinton, and got laughs all round.

    September 8, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. Ukah Augustine Obaah Chief

    Are you certain the weapons were used by the syrian government or is it the same intelligence that was used in Iraq that we are still relying on? What is new?

    September 8, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  19. Thom

    How about Senator NcCain make an appointment to speak with the Al Saud family and say this:

    Syria is an opportunity to let Muslim soldiers from Muslim countries be the ones that intervene, if there is to be any intervention at all. Syria is NOT the US's fight, nor is it the UK's fight, nor is it the EU's fight. You stated it very clearly – it is an Arab problem that requires an Arab solution. So, the whole world wants to know what the Arab solution is. Time for you to step up and take that leadership role with your military. This is an opportunity to show the entire world what Islam stands for. Build a coalition of Muslim nations and militaries and bring your solution to the UN for consideration. And if you get the approval for military action and intervene, I wish you very success at stopping the violence and restoring peace to Syria and to the region.

    September 8, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  20. Bahaha

    Oh you American politics. Republican: lets go to war! Democrat: I agree! Republican: if you go to war we'll impeach you!

    September 8, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  21. Dixie Independent voter

    I moved from Arizona last fall back to my home in the mid-west. Arizona is a fine state, but is time to bring the grandstanding Sen. Cain home and put him out to pasture. Long overdue.

    September 8, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. PuzzledInPeoria

    McCain would have been gung ho for all-out involvement until he discovered he might not get re-elected if he supports that.

    Now that we have an all volunteer military, senators and congress members don't have to worry about their kids being in harms' way. This baloney of the president being able to start a war–Korea began it–has always been wrong. If we had to declare war every time we called a military strike, we'd have far fewer, because of the sacrifice by the civilian population.

    September 8, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. Rocketmanpete

    Years ago I had respect for Sen. McCain. Most of his Foriegn policy recommendation were rooted in sound analysis. Not sure what happened on the way to his bid for POTUS BUT – he has gone maverick in the brain. First choosing Palin and then taking positions that border on ridiculous rookie mistakes. Impeachment of POTUS for putting boots on the ground? Empty threat to a seating Commander in Chief who has specifically stated no boots in Syria. BTW- We have boots on the ground almost in every trouble part of the globe! McCain wanted boots in Syria 2 years ago to train the Assad's opposition (whoever they are) ! Mr. McCain thank you for your service, please retire.

    September 8, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. Larry L

    @Impeach – Now

    Please. Soon.
    Our Constitution does not provide for impeachment of a President because he's a black man. If those of you who simply hate him would have attempted to help America by supporting our President the recession and the wars would have ended earlier. Hate and racism are powerful motivators and you should hope the Judgement Day story is a myth...

    September 8, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  25. Richard Miller

    Mr. McCain and Mr. Graham apparently forgot the there is only one President, not three. Had the two of them not meddled in foreign policy, we probably would not be in the no-win situation that we are now in. Both of these clowns have one interest at heart-keeping the military and all of it revenue sucking parasites we call defense contractors employed.

    September 8, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
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