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. reason1265

    Yes McCain lets just launch missiles at Syria without support from Congress, The American people and EU. That sounds a lot like what your former republicans in office would have done. If McCain is blasting Obama, I am all the more convinced that Obama is proceeding in the correct fashion

    September 8, 2013 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  2. Satish Agarwal

    McCain, The American people have clearly told you to buzz off. You are the sorest loser in history. You are going to impeach? After being a puzzy for 8 years of the Bush-Cheney total deception and lies?

    September 8, 2013 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  3. Pk duster

    Mc caine is crazy impeach mc caine

    September 8, 2013 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  4. AZRes

    McCain is a senile old man who's time has come and gone. If we listened to McCain we would be at war with some country somewhere all the time. I'm guessing he has a lot of his money tied up with the Military Industrial Complex and also receives a major amount from them in campaign contributions. Every time the man opens his mouth he embarrasses the people of Arizona. He needs to strap himself into the front seat of the lead plane or keep his mouth shut. He's too willing to send other peoples husbands, wives and kids into harms way. Enough is enough. Time for him to go.

    September 8, 2013 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  5. M.A.P.

    "The Republican senator also said President Obama made a mistake by consulting Congress instead of immediately launching a bombing campaign against the Syrian government."

    Yeah because if he was President he would've already dropped bombs AND put boots on the ground. This guy has got to stop acting like an EX president – YOU LOST MCCAIN, and YOUR party is responsable for Afghanistand and Iraq. Wake up and pay attention!

    September 8, 2013 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  6. buddy

    Yet this idiot of a worthless senator who seems to have lost his brains in vietnam years ago, Was ok with then idiot george walker bush who killed thousands of U.S troops by sending them into Iraq not because of weapons of mass destruction as he tried to lead us to believe, But let the actual Truth be said, and this is a first of it's kind, that bush took a offense to Saddam Hussien threatening his father, that's why thousands of U.S troops were killed in Iraq, it was personal revenge, but that was ok according to this senator. But if president obama who actually has more reason's to conduct a mission in Syria then bush did, who led this country leaderless for 8 years , and wanted wars that caused us to to go into a recession this is ok to. McCain never challenged bush on impeachment but obama yes. Get over yourself McCain you lost the election time to retire not start another world was.

    September 8, 2013 04:11 am at 4:11 am |
  7. Rob

    McCain also responded, "If I don't get a king on the flop the president must go!"

    September 8, 2013 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  8. AJ

    Typical Republican.... Covering both sides of the issue, so whatever Obama does he can claim the opposite was the correct course.

    September 8, 2013 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  9. jboh

    Is this guy senile? One minute he wants attacks, the next he wants to impeach for attacking.

    September 8, 2013 05:51 am at 5:51 am |

    " Do Something" " Don't do anything!" McDoofus and the GOBP tea potty are the delusional Assad party now.

    September 8, 2013 05:56 am at 5:56 am |
  11. @RI_Roger (Follow me on Twitter)

    We need to begin holding people accountable for their comments and opinions.... We should care less about what they "Tweet" or what their Public Relations person "Tweets" for them. Get Mr. Petraeus on camera to voice his opinion and challenge and vet him accordingly.

    September 8, 2013 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  12. Flamespeak

    We should stay out of it altogether. The notion being kicked around is that it is not an act of war to have a precise and targeted air strike, which is ridiculous. What was Pearl Harbor or (in a way) the September 11th attacks if not precise and targeted air strikes where boots didn't hit the ground?

    September 8, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  13. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The GOP bafoons like to throw around the word impeachment like they used to use the word job creators that haven't created any jobs as they were just trying to get more useless tax cuts for the rich . GOP, you lost the election and NOTHING you do is going to change that'. You are probably going to lose the next four or five so get used to it since why would anybody vote for the incompetent GOP you have nothing to offer.

    September 8, 2013 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  14. G

    was he not calling for something bigger 9 months ago including boots on the groung –getting guns to the rebels means a lot to this guy

    September 8, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  15. ge

    where was he when bush lied-running for president and trying to get into war with iran

    September 8, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  16. Marie MD

    Mr poker playing fool is talking impeachment? Still upset you lost because you sold your soul to a screeching devil?

    September 8, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  17. bill pike

    why wait for the boots on the ground??? how about all the other scandals?

    September 8, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  18. Dixie

    This is just nuts! When any action is taken plans change very quickly. If you don't have plans to cover all possibilities don't even start it. This is what we have military leaders for. Leaving WMDs after the action is stupid. They will just use them later in the same way with the same results.

    September 8, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  19. GreggEsq2000

    Go back to playing Candy Crush Mr. McCain, and leave this problem to the grown ups.

    September 8, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  20. jeff

    Why are we supposed to believe anyone who is in Washington D.C?

    September 8, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  21. Craig from Pa.

    Get this clown retired...first he wants boots there , then he doesn't.....he is getting senile and the old "war hero" needs to go,.... period...... As far as Syria goes though, we should stay out of it.......

    September 8, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  22. TickedinNY

    No McCain, no military action whatsoever. Close to 90% of Americans oppose any military action. Get it through your thick skulls. No means NO!

    September 8, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  23. christian

    thank God McCain didn't become President. We would probably be at war with Canada, Mexico.... maybe Britain, most likely Greece, and definitely the Canary Islands.

    September 8, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  24. Guest

    Johnny, don't forget that Obama needs to make Putin give back the sacred Super Bowl ring!!!
    Stay on message.

    September 8, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  25. JCDavis

    Obama should be impeached in any case for letting the NSA run wild.

    September 8, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
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