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. dlws8607

    GoInthere: Just because people do not support sending U.S. military personnel to fight someone else's war, does not mean they love seeing innocent men and children killed. If you want to fight the war, feel free to buy a plane ticket and go fight it. I am tired of seeing men in the U.S. military sacrificed in the name of colonialism and world-police powers.

    September 8, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. Patriot

    Diplomacy? He laughs. What you think he is? A diplomat?

    September 8, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. Ed

    McCain needs to retire or better yet, resign.

    September 8, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. txan

    This old warhawk needs to fade away - soon.

    September 8, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. dave

    Bush II – LET BIN LADEN ESCAPE – Phony war in Iraq, war in Afghanistan, financial melt down, bungled Katrina.

    Obama – GOT BIN LADEN, got us out of Iraq, Afghanistan is up in the air, stopped the financial meltdown, handled Sandy.

    September 8, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Foreign policy is all domestic politics now and less a matter of national interest.

    September 8, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. NameSteve

    If McCain really cared about the U.S. image in world's eye, he would express public support for the President and his personal outrage privately.

    September 8, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. Danny Torrence

    Here is our message to you McCain, if one missle is launched you will not be relected. Tell your neo-con oil pirate handlers we are not interested in paying for their wars. Rest asured that we have all let our congress and our senate representatives know how we feel. It's called democracy...

    September 8, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. ge

    have a good sleep and his view will be different

    September 8, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. Paul

    Impeachment on what grounds? There isn't a constitutional issue here.

    September 8, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. wjgiunta

    John is one of the few that have common sense and the experience to understand the situation and what to do about it!

    September 8, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. mark

    McCain the collaborator

    September 8, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. JamVee

    McCain needs to retire, unbeknownst to him, his time has come and GONE!

    Sometimes he acts like a Liberal and then, 5 minutes later, he is tooting the Neo-Conservative horn. I'm not sure he knows which party he belongs to (or maybe he doesn't belong to either party).

    September 8, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. D Young

    McCain has always been an embarrassment, he should retire. The man who claims to hate war, cannot wait to get us into another one. He wants to keep all our wars going on forever!

    September 8, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. TheGrimJester

    Impeachment is used far too often and casually. It should be reserved for only the most serious of offenses. Not a change in strategy.

    September 8, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Felix Sinclair

    He's lost it.

    September 8, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    McCain and his followers have and has put the president a big mess,ever since the beginning? true or not? I mean want orders or advices is he following???

    September 8, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. q-00-p

    “Common sense” is cultural.

    September 8, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. lf

    Someone should check whether McCain is becoming senile,

    In the same discussion he says Obama should be more aggressive in dealing with Syria and not go to Congress for approval and then says he would favor impeaching Obama if boots end up on the ground without Congressional approval

    September 8, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. Thomas G Cahill

    If Obama says we are not going to put boots on the ground, how does he plan to pull out any pilots who get shot down. In Libya, pilots were shot down and Marines got off helicopters ONTO THE GROUND to rescue them – or were they barefoot?

    If you commence an attack where any American is placed above Syrian soil or territorial waters, youwill sooner or later have Americans on the ground.

    September 8, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  21. esu589

    A senile man threatening a distator

    September 8, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  22. Zod

    McCain and the rest of the GOP will say anything to tear down the president.

    September 8, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. MichaelK

    Obama only gets impeached AFTER Bush, Cheney and company are indicted for war crimes.

    September 8, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  24. BostonFred

    McCain needs to retire or better yet, resign.

    September 8, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. benster

    Dave, Obama has not stopped the financial meltdown, he has prolonged it. He did not get Bin-laden, our military continued what Bush started to get Bin-Laden and succeeded, Afghanistan and Iraq are failures, there is more chaos in the region than before including the fiasco in Egypt. So far Obama has cost ATF agents lives with his lies on the drug war with Fast and Furious which is a joke, He has cost the lives of those in Benghazi with his lies and trying to spread misinformation with an internet film that had nothing to do with it as well as abusing his authority with the IRS scandals, and now the Syrian fiasco.

    September 8, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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