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. Vincent

    Does this man have Alzheimers?

    September 8, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  2. The law

    McCain please leave, Obama please follow...

    September 8, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  3. aiquoy

    I'm not surprised that a man who lost to Obama in a bid for office would be the first to issue threats of impeachment.

    September 8, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  4. The Other Bob

    Jim Tuggle

    Let's get real people. John McCain is a fool or worse. Barrak Obama is a socialst pretender who became President thru fraud, lies and decit
    You clearly haven't the slightest idea what the definition of socialism is, nor been paying the slightest attention to what he has been doing while in office. Go back to drooling over Beck/Hannity/Limbaugh.

    September 8, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. Glenn-Paul

    Dear Mr. McCain. You lost. It's been five years. Get over it!

    September 8, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  6. Socrates

    The world says NO to war, however, and this is the big surprise for the people who elected Obama twice, the Nobel Peace Prize says YES to war. Is this guy (Obama) for real?

    September 8, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  7. Jerry Okamura

    You don't need to give him a warning, if you don't give him the authorization in the first place. And the warning is meaningless, because McCain cannot really do anything that would stop Obama from doing what he wants to do. He can only try to do something, AFTER the fact, but by then the dirty deed has been done.

    September 8, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  8. John C Finley

    Hark, the herald "angels" have spoken. The mad dogs have now spoken and what they say is nothing but trash. Washington DC and the people who put them there are vain glorious and slimey without comparison. Obama at least has done what a president is supposed to do. Have some morals and ethics and then ask Congress who currently have no morals or ethics. 90 percent of what is said here of whichever political background has no merit. (And I will get replies that includes me).

    September 8, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  9. Dr. Puffy

    President Obama will face war crimes if he even strikes at Syria! And we will be the one's trying him.

    September 8, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  10. Bubba

    Doesn't President Obama understand that you have to be a Republican to launch illegal wars that the American people do not want???? Obviously not. Obama should have brought in Bush Jr. to launch the Syria war, and the GOP would be ok right now. The GOP is most territorial when it comes to starting wars.

    September 8, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  11. Sanseh

    Can we trust McCain who divorces his wife and married another due to her disability. He only loyal to the winning side and sees his benefit first. Why don't you vote no instead of lying to the public it is for only limited strike, such authorization are never for limited strikes as there maybe possibilities of greater war. I am scared that other side is well versed in USA tactics and procedures having fought many wars and easily this exposure of fighting too much will harm USA interest while getting into a fresh war..

    September 8, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  12. Ray

    Hey Benster-Obama has not prolonged the economic downturn, our economy was growing within his first term, and jobs were also being created in the first term. What this country is dealing with is over 30 years of failed conservatism.

    September 8, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  13. Jennifer NY

    McCain is just playing political theater. If you have any military action, you can't leave anything off the table. I say, along with the majority of Americans, don't start a military conflict with Syria. We have to find a better solution and I honestly would lime to see Obama, Putin, Cameron, Hollande and the Chinese work something out among them.

    September 8, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  14. PGriff

    Who is the person at the town hall meeting who said they had sent John McCain to Washington to prevent a war??? McCain has not met a war he didn't want us to be involved in. Remember Libya? He kept complaining that Obama was letting Libya get out of control and we were taking a back seat to the Brits and the French. Hey media, stop asking McCain for his opinions, no one cares.

    September 8, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  15. Concerned

    Here we go again with scare tactics from the right.

    September 8, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  16. Ponyexpress

    Obama is the worst American Political leader of my lifetime. He makes Jimmy Carter look like a genius. Is it 2016 yet? It can't come soon enough.

    September 8, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. Kit Carson

    McCain has not changed his position and believes we need to intervene. He is NOT standing by the people and representing his voters. Shame on him and shame on the rest of them that vote for this war. We need to impeach every single pro-voter of this war. Call your congressman/woman today and let your voice be heard. Your voice does not stop at your vote, we have to speak loudly and clearly before more blood is shed.

    September 8, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  18. sassafrasnewport

    Someone needs to tell McCain that he isn't commander in chief.

    September 8, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  19. sassafrasnewport

    @ttommy, get your facts straight. By the time bush got authorization from congress, he was already in Iraq. Obama hasn't done anything yet and if he chose to, the war powers act gives him that right. Reagan did in Grenada and Clinton did in Kosovo. So, other than partisan swipes, do you even have a clue?

    September 8, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  20. Diogenes

    Uhm zelskid, Genada was a flaming victory for us.

    Putting US soldiers on the ground in Syria will make only one thing.... Lots of dead US Soldiers
    Were talking gas people. Like we havent seen since WW I.

    September 8, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  21. sassafrasnewport

    @gstkav3, those videos coming out of Syria are not a joke or a laugh.

    September 8, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  22. The Brutal Truth

    Do we have to kick Arizona out of the Union to get rid of this guy?

    September 8, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  23. olah

    Oh John Can you see yourself, it so embarrassing when senile old man doesnt know when its time to stop.

    September 8, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  24. sbubba1

    He is proving he is incompetent and unstable ,probably reaching for proper medical care .

    September 8, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  25. braincake63

    Can't Assad be charged with war crimes? Obviously, the task of apprehending him would be difficult,but the charges alone may cause his military to turn on him.

    September 8, 2013 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
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