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. David

    Political posturing at its most obvious.

    September 8, 2013 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  2. Ron

    B.O.'s no boots pledge came with an escape clause just like too much of what he says.

    September 8, 2013 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  3. yogi

    "The Republican senator also said President Obama made a mistake by consulting Congress instead of immediately launching a bombing campaign against the Syrian government.' Yup, that is McCain's style, bombing is his motto and the heck with consequences, shoot first aim later. This guy is truly pathetic and it is way past his time to retire and write books about wars, because that is what this man really loves, the more the better.

    September 8, 2013 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  4. Truthful1

    Senator McCain needs to be clear making up his mind what he is in favor of doing first siding with Obama, then retreating from that position somehow hoping to get even more involved in Syria. Obama clearly doesn't care about Syrians getting Gassed since Assad allegedly did this 13 times over the last two years. meanwhile more Coptic Christians in Egypt were massacred in the last 3 months by Obama's Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi. Why does Obama attack Christians here in America at the DNC, and with Eric Holder, and the IRS, and support Muslims who also attack, and kill Christians in the Middle East? Why the Hell are all of you fine decent Black Christians in America support Obama? Don't you dare tell me he is not responsible! He is the Commander in Chief, and President of the United States of America, not the Muslims of America, not the Gays of America, and not the Blacks of America, oh and not the Democrat Socialist Progressives of America either! Barack Obama has already tipped his hand as the Weak President of America viewed by the World, and has no right to put American Service Members in Harms Way so that he can look good Politically to the American People. The whole World already knows Obama is incompetent. I agree with Obama's Impeachment but not just for the situation in Syria either, but someone please tell the Senator McCain that there are no Pro-American Organizations or Rebel Groups who are not Muslim Terrorists in Syria fighting the Assad Regime.

    September 8, 2013 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  5. edward

    somebody is still bitter about losing the election

    September 8, 2013 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  6. Anonymous

    soooo yes means no?

    September 8, 2013 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  7. derykhouston

    It has been shown by an intercepted communication that a Syrian commander of the 155 battalion fired the chemical weapons against the Syrian militaries direct orders not to do so.
    Is it then right to punish the Assad government when it is very clear that he has specifically ordered that no CW be used. The intercepted message makes that clear.
    Would it be right to punish the rebels just because one commander of the rebels blew the brains out of seven Syrian prisoners or committed many other atrocities.
    Or would it be right to punish Obama just because some soldiers urinated on dead Iraqi soldiers?
    John Kerry and Obama have reframed the issue to suit his own agenda. This is very much just like Iraq. The lies are flowing fast and furious just as before.
    No wonder history will slaughter them both.

    September 8, 2013 01:14 am at 1:14 am |

    McCaiin will go into the guiness book of records as the only Republican who wants to play poker when sitting in a session where the country's involvement with Syria is concerned. He also makes a record of attacking the Democrats whenever possible. If there was ever a tinderbox, it is him. I am certain his mother had a horrific time bringing him into this world.

    September 8, 2013 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  9. Red

    McCain really seems like he is playing politics. It does not serve any constructive purpose to undermine the Commander-in-Chief with these comments

    September 8, 2013 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  10. Anonymous

    I love this President! He constantly plays chess while these Republicans play checkers. Republicans are scared to stand up to rogue governments and terrorism. They're afraid to make the tough decisions to protect our country. 2014 is a locked for the Democratic party and Hillary will be the next President. Republicans are just plain cowards.

    September 8, 2013 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  11. Flynn Stones

    if anyone sounds like an idiot here it is mccain. he's for it but he's against it. he'll impeach obama but stated obama shouldn't have notified congress. try to imagine what this dunce would have been like as a president? he would probably ask congress to impeach him and then bomb syria because he doesn't like the way that the senate responded to his tweets. what a buffoon.

    September 8, 2013 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  12. wolfegang

    Can anyone begin to imagine how this would have turned out if McCain and Palin were in charge?

    September 8, 2013 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  13. Alfredo Araujo

    If President Obama had strike Syria without consult the Congress. Mc Cain would accuse President Obama of ignoring the Powert of Congress to give his opinion . Because President Obama decided to consult the congress over their point of view. Then Mc Cain accuse President Obama to have done the wrong thing. McCain will always hunt President Obama as prey. He will never accept that he could have been defeated by that much younger and intelligent man than him....I like President Obama , however l differ from his point of view of havint to strike Syria.

    September 8, 2013 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  14. Name Alex maco

    America should not strike syria. war is not solution to the crises instead they should corporate with other countries to find lasting peace to the crises.

    September 8, 2013 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  15. mike trottier

    Screw McCain,....I'm so sick of republicans and their BS.
    You can't blame the POTUS for not trusting anything they (republicans) say or do.
    At one time I respected McCain,......NOT ANYMORE!
    McCain belongs in a home someplace,......someplace where he can't hurt anyone
    McCain should just shut the hell up,.....what a jerk he turned out to be

    September 8, 2013 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  16. gregor1971

    Obama has never been one to lead. He just likes to speak.

    September 8, 2013 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  17. Rick

    hah, so if Obama doesn't go through congress the GOP would call it an illegal military engagement and if he does go through congress they criticize him for giving the Syrian regime too much warning. Does these clowns even listen to themselves?

    September 8, 2013 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  18. JC

    I guess even McCain can be right sometimes.

    September 8, 2013 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  19. jonathan

    McCain has lost it. He should be playing poker on his iPhone – oh wait, that is what he does. The fact that he lost to Obama should make his opinion count very little. We saw how incoherent he was 6 years ago; why now is he an authority on current foreign affairs? Politics as usual

    September 8, 2013 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  20. jb1963

    This from a guy who was shot down and lost four planes and chose Sarah Palin and lost an election?
    And BTW plays poker during hearings?

    September 8, 2013 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  21. Thomas

    Wait for the UN report, then it's all or nothing .

    Obama didn't send troops to Libya , he made the right move there.

    September 8, 2013 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  22. f carter

    This guy McCain needs to be put away, he is not qualified to be a senator, why does the media pays attention to his insane rumbling .....this man belongs in the cookie farm, for the mentally insane......he just can't get over his lost to a black man!

    September 8, 2013 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  23. whodunnit?

    HAD "bungled" the entire handling of the Syria crisis?
    give me a high-five Palin bungle....
    what do you guys do in DC for reality?

    Would, Could, Al Queda do it?
    Yea John, let's jump in the middle of this, no boots, no plan, WMD. Go after the wrong side, get played.

    September 8, 2013 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  24. JCal

    You've got to admit – whether you want an intervention in Syria or not – Obama has made a terrible mess out of this. He seems much less presidential than ever before. He defers to no one – then defers to Congress. Now he is running around having his advisors campaign the world to get them on board.

    IF, and that's a big if, Obama ever gets Congress to go along with him – he will have waited way too much time, and given way too much warning for any of this to have any punitive effect on the Syrian government. They could be anywhere by now. They could be planning counterattacks against civilians. Remember, a small missile strike is hardly a big blow to a well supplied (thanks to our help over the years) military that exists in Syria. Broadcasting all over the world the options available, etc. just made this blow to Syria that much less smaller.

    Obama could have held to his word of two months ago and just ordered a simple military strike without warning. Yes, his popularity in the US would have taken a temporary setback – but these things blow over. Obama would then be viewed as a strong and decisive leader. Now he seems like the professor all that much more!

    September 8, 2013 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  25. reason1265

    McCain is a blow hard and a remnant of the bush administration thought process. Obama is taking his time and consulting congress and other nations BEFORE any action is taken. I would be much more worried about boots on the ground if the republican party was in office. If consulting and thinking carefully before taking action gives Syria time to disperse so weapons, so be it. We would sill have hundreds of high value targets to hit, IF that decision is made.

    September 8, 2013 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
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