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. Named guy

    We are some the most prentious , unsympathetic people ever. Innocent people being killed and yet the US won't help.

    September 8, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. STOP IT!

    impeachment, that will scare BO. I recall clinton got impeached he and didn't go anywhere!

    September 8, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. Paul in Atlanta

    Obama should have been impeached years ago and certainly after recent scandals. Take your pick: IRS, Benghazi, NSA, the list goes on and on. Now he wants to bomb Syria after giving the Syrian regime plenty of time to clear out of harms way. Incompetence at first glance -but Obama knows exactly what he's doing – and none of it is in America's best interests.

    September 8, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. Thinkergal

    Will McCain NEVER get over the 2008 election? The man who once was a cool anti-Bush "maverick" has become a bitter old curmudgeon. Heavy sigh.

    September 8, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. Timus

    What about boots in McCain's behind?

    September 8, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. merlinfire

    Really? Of all the messed up stuff Obama has done, all the illegal things, all the unconstitutional things....this is the "red line" for McCain? LOL.

    September 8, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. Thinkergal

    Note to McCain: If the president were to ever be impeached, you would NOT get his job!!!

    September 8, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. jimmorrisonmania

    It is sad that the guy in Syria was cruel enough to use gas on demonstrators, but I don't think we should go in. Unless there are attacks directly to America or its allies, let's stay out of this one. The politicians in Washington do this kind of crap all the time. Instead of paying attention to our problems they want to get involved in everyone else's. The immigration debate is similar. Why should we hand out amnesty and increase the number of foreign workers coming in until we get the 20 million Americans who are unemployed or underemployed back to work, then let's deal with immigration problem. Right now we should be deporting illegals and holding those who hire them accountable. The same with Syria. Instead of wasting a bunch of money attacking Syria let's take that money and start rebuilding infrastructure and repairing our badly damaged economy.

    September 8, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. Charlie

    John McCain is a relic of the past. He now struggles to reconcile his hawkish nature of the military model with the fear of the Tea Party reprisal. His only concern is the self interest of re-election to the DSenate. He and Lindsey Graham are pathethetic voices in this debate because if McCain were Comannder in Chief we would be bombing the stuffings out of Syria, Iran and anyone in the Middle East he viewed as "non-Democratic. He would be well served to retire from Congress after this term. he has not changed as has the world dynamic around global participation with other countries. He is steeped in the Bush national building model which was a failure in Iraq.

    September 8, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. Ariel Gonzalez

    Mr. McCain.......Please, resign you are out-ridiculing this POTUS

    September 8, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. Roberto

    Obama is a terrible commander in chief, He is clueless !

    September 8, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. tired of it

    Supposedly congress 'impeached' Bill Clinton but he never left office???? another rule change we didn't know about????

    September 8, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. Harold II

    Is there a subject on which McCain can remain silent? If so, let's have them all at once!!!

    September 8, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Nodack

    Let me get this straight. You preached a year ago that we should have done a full invasion with boots on ground. Today your constituents are telling you no way to the invasion so now you are warning Obama not to put boots on the ground or he will be impeached, but you still want him to bomb away. Republicans wanted to impeach Obama if he tried attacking without their consent and then here is this Republican telling Obama he bumbled the situation by asking for asking for consent. Then you have Boehner that favors a bombing campaign and then Rand wants the US to do nothing.

    The three top Republicans are all over the map on this matter and all three want to impeach Obama if he does what the others Republican leaders demand he do. In other words there is nothing Obama could possibly do that Republicans would approve of. They have covered all possible scenarios and are for and against them all depending on what Obama does.

    September 8, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. Name

    Why send are people to die for people that are just going to shot us in the back when we are not looking

    September 8, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  16. Stone

    This old man McCain needs to retire from politics, if you cannot stop Obamacare how will your old mentality succeed with impeachment ? You agree with the president we should intervene but at the sametime talk of empty threats. He should realize he has no power and never will.

    September 8, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. Floyd from Illinois

    That's rich, just weeks ago McCain was complaining because America WASN'T using the military hammer.

    The guy is unstable and still bitter about losing. Thanks, Arizona.

    September 8, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  18. American

    So all this Time Loser McCain has been beating the War Drums for Bombing Syria and removing Assad from Power
    Now how is that suppose to be achieved? To remove Saddam from power boots on the ground where needed and Loser McCain thinks by bombing Syria Assad will be removed????????? Come on OLD man you are one short from a six pack.

    September 8, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. Az

    McCain holding Obama's feet to the fire is certainly reasonable based on experience and actions. Obama is a chameleon when it comes to the truth and leaving the constitution sacred. What was that about a red line? Religious freedoms?

    September 8, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  20. Dorothy

    Never has senility been raised to such news-worthy heights.

    September 8, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. terik ororke

    If we want to show democracy at work, do the bid of the "representatives" of the American people.

    September 8, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  22. George

    He should go back to talking about legalizing pot, there's nothing new here. Obama already said like 5000 times there would not be boots on the ground. He's just posturing and it's annoying.

    September 8, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  23. anonymous

    What does this mean? I thought we were only going to do a limited strike on specific targets that would not be in pursuit of a regime change?
    "He even refused to pass the White House resolution out of committee until it included provisions to bolster Syrian opposition forces deemed moderate."

    September 8, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. ari

    mccain has completely lost it. people of arizona-what's the deal?

    September 8, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  25. newscale62

    Considering the lack of support regarding the initially proposed military response, I could see that option being on the table sooner.

    September 8, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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