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. Anonymous

    Yes, Johnny???? Where was the IMPEACHMENT of BUSH we he put Boots on the ground FOR NO VALID REASON????????

    September 8, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  2. Luis Wu

    What a hypocrite. By his standard George Bush should have been impeached. Actually, he should have. And tried for treason a war crimes.

    September 8, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  3. awasis

    These Republicans douchbags sure to have some nuts commenting on military action and criticizing Obama, after Iraq.

    September 8, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  4. SammyZ

    Excuse me Mr. Senator but you have no credibility with me.

    Thank you,
    A fellow American and Combat Vet.

    September 8, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  5. Leonard

    This guy never met a war he didn't like, with him being captured and tortured he even supported doing that also to other people, just an old washed up, irrelevant hold out of an era long past. Just go away already.

    September 8, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  6. Ron

    Go play some more poker on your iPhone, John. Let the adults handle this one.

    September 8, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  7. pazke

    Umm...doesn't it seem like he's flip flopping a bit here?

    September 8, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  8. Mike Texoma

    And we are interested in what this guy has to say – why?

    September 8, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  9. shanevb2

    Why didn't McCain give Bush this warning about Iraq? Oh because Obama is a democrat. Its amazing how repubs only hate war when a dem wants it. And it also blows my mind that dems hate war unless a dem president wants it. This party before country stuff needs to stop. This liberal dem says no attack of Syria. It was a war crime when Bush went into Iraq and It will be a war crime if we attack syria. No country should have the power to attack another county that has not directly harmed it. Our military should be for our DEFENSE only not used as the worlds punisher and regime changer

    September 8, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  10. Bill from Long Island

    So if Congress says no to Syria and the President goes in anyway... is that impeachable? Impeachment is a joke. WHy? Because it is done so infrequently.

    September 8, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  11. Felix

    I am sure there are already boots on the ground with military intelligence and training going on in Syria.

    September 8, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  12. andres

    John, first you call for war, then you call for impeachment if the very actions you call for end up with boots on the ground. You should full well know that your calls for war will lead to boots on the ground. Senility or just being a pia?

    September 8, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  13. Solomon Walker

    Senator McCain is misstating the law. The U.S. already has grounds for impeaching him. Just as we had against George W. Bush – for war crimes against others and against his own people.

    Trust that I know what I'm talking about in more ways than you can imagine.

    Senator McCain ought to step back and listen to those that actually do know the law, for a change.

    September 8, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    If any thing, McCain has just proven why Iraq and Afghanistan were bungled from the beginning. Well, Viet Nam too.


    America would do well to turn its head against politicians and their rhetoric. Sooner rather than later. Not only for betterment of America ... and I am quite convinced of this ... but for the betterment of the world as well.

    September 8, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  15. Richard

    Only White Presidents can start wars. I don't want one myself but I'm so tired of the Republicans telling Obama how to be President

    September 8, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  16. Trish Hall

    ok thanks

    September 8, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  17. rob

    Who the hell is John McCain to warn anyone about anything? Why does he always think he runs the foreign policy of the United States? Rethuglicans just love power for the sake of power. They should have all been removed from office for trying their coup against President Clinton. If anyone needs to be impeached it's the Republicans in Congress and their lapdogs, the vile conservatives on the Supreme Court.

    September 8, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  18. Bill

    Had we done as John McStain insists, send some bombs over immediately, with no solid proof of who actually launched them, you have to wonder exactly where we'd be right now. Most likely our boys would be fighting Iran, Iraq, China, Russia....oh just to name a few, with no International support.

    As for "We didn't send you to make war for us. We sent you to stop the war," one man said.

    How stupid a comment is that? !!! YOU sent us to stop the war? Certainly would have loved to here exactly what his plan on accomplishing that without making war would have been.

    September 8, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  19. Solomon Walker

    The U.S. already has grounds to impeach Mr. Obama, just as we had grounds to impeach the last three presidents for war crimes and misdemeanors.

    Senator McCain ought to take a step back and start listening to those that actually do know the law.

    September 8, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  20. Edward

    It is past time for someone to retire.

    September 8, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  21. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    An aging warrior or a befuddled old man?

    September 8, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  22. LazyBones

    If it's regarding the military, McCain is the Neocon mouthpiece. Beyond that, he has nothing to offer the American anymore. Not that what he now offers is of any good to America either, mind you.

    September 8, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  23. BigD

    Flipper! McCain was the cheerleader for action in Syria.

    September 8, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  24. Tony

    McCain said on August 28 that it makes no sense for the Obama administration to say it would not use military force to seek regime change in Syria, given that the administration believes Syria has crossed Obama's red line by using chemical weapons. McCain wants regime change in Syria. Now he is threatening Obama with impeachment if Obama sends troops to Syria.

    Impeach McCain.

    September 8, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  25. Mike

    This old crazy war-monger cannot make up his senile mind! Please. Please. Go away!

    September 8, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
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