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. lazarus00000

    McCain is never considering the true dangers in Syria as the lesson was learned in Iraq, Iran, Afganistan and so on. The true danger is radical Islam, but the confusion comes in to question as to Who is Radical Islam? The so called moderates in Islam are intimidated and readily allow the radicals, the true believers to kill and torture in god's name.
    why would America take on the responsibility of opposing the communist led government of Syria in order to support the racical Islamic fanatics?
    Russia and China Created this situation and the UN, not the US lead the way to stop the attrocities that are happening there. McCain, sadly seems to have lost his way. His job is to protect American citizens not allow us to be dragged into a war. This is a no win situation and as usual the politicians think they can solve the problems with pretty talk and cash on hand.

    September 8, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. Freedom Storm

    What did he threaten him with? His toy rubber sword?

    September 8, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. Name

    This guy is too funny

    September 8, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. t

    I'm sick of the term "boots on the ground." It's just a nicer way of saying troops in combat.

    September 8, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. Kenoscope

    But if McCain was president......

    September 8, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. Steve Gibson

    Watch the Community Organizer lead you into war and blame Bush.

    September 8, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. Allah

    Leave Syria alone introducing another war will be a political suicide what about Iraq Afghanistan and Libya?
    Expecting ti have WW III?

    September 8, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. Name

    How is going to pay for this war.

    September 8, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. Rocateno

    How do you stop war with war. Further more going to support people who are killing people , taking out their hearts and eating them? McCain and Obama why dont you intervene in Egypt first where a legally elected president was overthrown and Obama did not do anything. Pray For God to open your eyes so that you can be able to see.

    September 8, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. paul

    too late now have given them plenty of time to move whatever weapons you were going after and now I am SURE they have moved civilians into those areas. Bottom line, lets take care of our problems here in this country and not worry about this.....

    September 8, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. IrishMcC

    This is laughable...McCain (and most Republicans) say Obama bungled the handling of Syria. Well...I NEVER saw any resolutions passed by the House saying they want action to be taken in some form or how to handle things differently.

    McCain is like most other congressmen...armchair quarterbacks when it comes to criticizing others.

    September 8, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. biglio

    McCain is irrelevant.......

    September 8, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. David

    There are already US boots on the ground. Where do we think all the pictures and videos are coming from. Just look at the quality of the video and photos. These are not being taken by an armature with a cell phone. Didn't McCain say a few weeks ago we need boots on the ground.

    September 8, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. RK

    Definitely time to put Senator McCain out to pasture.

    September 8, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. James Ekim

    If chemical plants are destroyed by air, many people will die and nothing will be accomplished.

    September 8, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. Shawn Irwin

    McCain, Obumbler, and Kerry . . . . the three stooges.

    September 8, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  17. Ohio

    Armchair quarterback.

    September 8, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  18. Grampa

    McCain will never stop hating Obama for beating him in 2008. Unfortunately for him, his credibility evaporated when he tried to give us Sarah Palin as Vice President.

    September 8, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  19. hannah

    McCain has lost it. Who'a listening to him anyhow. He lost all credibility when he hired on Sara Palin to be his running mate.

    September 8, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  20. Dorothy

    This walk-back-statement comes after McCain put his own "boots" on the ground in Arizona last week.

    September 8, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  21. fruit loops

    all of a sudden, mccain is trying to "Seperate" himself from wanting to go into syria..funny..very funny
    we all know where you stand.

    September 8, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  22. hih

    This guy needs to retire

    September 8, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  23. elucidated1

    Dont' you love it? McCain goes all in to attack Assad's military in Syria but now talks impeachment of Obama? Nice.

    September 8, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  24. david

    boots on the ground really? thats coming from the boots on the ground for everything big mouth John McCain!!

    September 8, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  25. JW

    Political rhetoric from McCain...he DOES know that if our involvement with Syria that he supports so much goes wrong he too would be replaced?

    Politicians are becoming more replaceable every day, and we need to make sure we make that reality known to them.

    September 8, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
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