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. Herlocker

    I've never seen a president treated with such disrespect.

    September 8, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  2. dave

    Macain is all over the map .. again... when all this started.. macain wanted to completely take out the current leadership.. meaning.. another Iraq situation.. Mcain is always "For war" and will always vote on its promotion. Thats expected.. from him.. whats wild in the last 1 year.. macain has made a huge number of statements and then reversed course afterwords.

    A lot of polticians flip flop.. but this guy does it so much its nuts

    September 8, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  3. Nath72

    It was alright for Bush regrime to goto war without aproval.....why was he not impeached?

    September 8, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  4. jamesbx

    McCain takes more money from the aerospace defense sector than any other member of congress.

    September 8, 2013 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  5. sheri

    Well if they are going to threaten impeachment if boots hit the ground then apparently we dont need to be there at all.

    September 8, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  6. Jay B Born

    Meh. People are as done with MCain and his war buddies (Graham, Chambliss) as we are with Obama and his antics. None of these men deserve to be leading this country.

    September 8, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  7. cassiusmaximus

    Obama can put troops on the ground. he is commander in chief. he has 60 day to get congress to approve or pull them out. that is not impeachablke. That being said, It would be a bad decision to do that. pound Assad's military facilities into dirt and watch the rebels do the footwork.

    September 8, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  8. Lillie Taylor

    There Mr. O'Bama lost sight of THIS USAians Mr. Clinton teachings.

    September 8, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  9. optimistica

    McCain is so irrelevant and a real jerk. So thankful he is not our president.

    September 8, 2013 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  10. joe

    McCain must have had a bad day of playing poker....G

    September 8, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  11. Clarke

    It is time for John to call it a day. He is such a angry man! If it were up to him, he would gone it there with guns
    A blazing, boots in all and ask questions later.

    September 8, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  12. Barbra K

    McCain continues to be a big disappointment, as he was when he ran for president. He was a big nothing then and he is still a big nothing.He stares as if he is a grizzley bear, but acts as a little kitty cat. Nothing useful seems to come out of his mouth. I don't understand, why doesn't he resign, stop running. Get current McCain!

    September 8, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  13. jackola

    Thank God this man lost the election

    September 8, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  14. Kona

    McCain is irrelevant. He's still mad about getting booted to the curb by Obama in '08.

    September 8, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  15. NO WAR

    No War Under Any Circumstances In the Mid-East!

    September 8, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  16. B. Durkin

    Time to hang it up Senator McCain. The world is slowly passing you by. Time to exit gracefully. You made your contributions. Quit while you're ahead and try to leave on a high note.

    September 8, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  17. The Realist

    Here's the bottom line:

    Syria Is A Sideshow!

    Syria is the opening act, the "special guest".

    The unholy American / Israeli axis is playing a much bigger game.

    They're taking this opportunity to provoke a response that will justify war on Iran.

    They've concluded that they have such an overwhelming tech superiority that they can't lose.

    They'ill bomb Iran back to the stone age, and if they can, install a new, "democratic", Shah.

    September 8, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  18. omeany

    McCain is a special kind o crazy. He's a senile war mongerer who needs to retire before he does serious damage.

    September 8, 2013 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  19. EdL

    If boots hit ground? How about sneakers or sandals?

    September 8, 2013 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  20. jimmyD

    Our brilliant Obama should be able to beat his war drum if he wants to.

    September 8, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  21. regororedam

    Yeah, McCain always has a better idea. Like Sarah Palin.


    September 8, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  22. toddrocky39

    There is something called the WAR POWERS ACT – passed in the 1970s after the debacle in Vietnam. The President of the United States has the power to send troops anywhere in the world – provided he tells Congress within 48 hours. The President then has 90 days to carry out the plan – after that, Congress can pull the troops out if they feel they are not doing what the President said.

    Sorry Mr. McCain – but if there was EVER a time to impeach a president – or use the Congressional powers of the War Powers Act, it was after 90 days of Iraq – and the president was George W. Bush.

    September 8, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  23. KIRK

    McCain has stated the right thing to do was to make a Presidential decision and attack. Obama has waited so Assad can hide ever chemical asset he has, so at this point why bother attacking?
    America looks like a scared child to the rest of the world. Nice job Mr. President

    September 8, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  24. toddrocky39

    There is something called the WAR POWERS ACT. It was passed in 1974 as the Vietnam debacle came to an end. It allows the President of the United States to send troops anywhere he chooses – provided he tells Congress within 48 hours. Then, the president has 90 days to carry out his mission. After that, Congress has the authority to pull the troops out if they feel they are not there for the stated reason.

    Sorry, Mr. McCain, but if there was ever a time to impeach a president for violation of the War Powers Act, it was George W. Bush in the 2000s with the Iraq situation. I am surprised a Vietnam Veteran would not know the actual laws that are in place in regards to troop movements and the President as Commander in Chief.

    September 8, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  25. my response

    Syria needs to be punished: bomb bomb bomb them.

    September 8, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
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