McCain: Ukraine crisis result of 'feckless' foreign policy
March 3rd, 2014
11:50 AM ET
9 years ago

McCain: Ukraine crisis result of 'feckless' foreign policy

Washington (CNN) - Sen. John McCain says the escalating crisis in Ukraine is the result of what he calls a "feckless foreign policy" by the White House.

Speaking Monday at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual conference in the nation's capital, the Republican senator from Arizona was critical of the man he lost to in the 2008 presidential election.

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"The President of the United states believes that the Cold War is over. That's fine, it is over but (Russian President Vladimir) Putin doesn't believe it's over. He doesn't believe that this is a zero sum game. Look at Moldova. Look at the occupation of Georgia. Look at the pressure on the Baltic nations. Look at what they are doing in assisting (Syrian President Bashar al) Assad slaughter tens of thousands of innocent people in cities and towns and the countryside all over Syria. It is an outrage," McCain said.

McCain added that Putin's use of military force in the Crimean Peninsula, an autonomous region of eastern Ukraine with strong loyalty to Moscow, "is the ultimate result of feckless foreign policy where nobody believes in America's strength anymore."

Watch: Sen. John McCain will appear on CNN's "Wolf" with Wolf Blitzer at 1 p.m. ET.

McCain, a vocal critic of Obama when it comes to foreign policy, has used the word "feckless" in the past to describe the President's response to international crises. The senator is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Discussing what options the United States has in responding to Moscow, McCain said "I have to be very honest with you there is not a military option that could be exercised now but the most powerful and biggest and strongest nation in the world should have plenty of options. And those options are many."

Earlier Monday, Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Monday the best leverage the U.S. can exert for now is "financial."

"The Achilles heel for Russia is their economy–the ruble," the California Republican said on CNN's "New Day."

"We have to lead and we have to rally Europe around a series of steps that would actually impact the Russians economically: sanctions against state-owned banks," he added.

Secretary of State John Kerry, due in Kiev Tuesday, said several foreign powers are looking at economic consequences if Russia does not withdraw its forces.

CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Ashley Killough contributed to this report

Filed under: AIPAC • John McCain • Ukraine
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. Tom

    This GOP policy of demanding the opposite of whatever Obama does is getting dangerous. Obama has almost gotten us out of the two wars GW Bush started, now the Republicans want to create more tension with Russia. I think it's fine for the U.S. to join with other countries to condemn Putin for his actions in Ukraine. But this is not our fight. Let this one play out on the international stage. The more Russia weakens its respect with unwarranted aggression, the more it will help the U.S. - especially if we can show some restraint for a change. Obama is handling this correctly.

    March 3, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. Tampa Tim

    I thought I read that over 1 million veterans are on food stamps, and now a brain dead right wingnut wants to send them back to war?

    March 3, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    John McCain feeding more right-wing anti-America propaganda to our enemies to gloat over? At some point, Americans are going to have no choice but to sit down collectively and decide just how patriotic this man and his party of political affiliation is towards America and American interests.

    March 3, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Humbrrto

    What's reckless is how the Jim Crow politicians are trying to stress out President Obama by playing on his pride and the false reports the press keep reporting such as a Russian Ultimatum.

    March 3, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Remember the good old days when the shoe ducker was respected around the world? Me neither.

    March 3, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. Tampa Tim

    Bush would stare into Putin's deep blue eyes, see the goodness in his soul, and whisper sweet nothings in his ear.

    March 3, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Yawn. "I want my Cold War back....pleaaaaase pleaaaaase can I have my Cold War back!?!?!?!! We tried sooooo hard to replace it with demonizing muslims and "the war on terrorism" but it's not the same and just doesn't seem to work as well!!!!! If w can't have the Cold War back and Iraq and Afghanistan are over, how are we going to justify this insanely massive military industrial complex we've built up!?!?!?! Someone get me the Cold War on line 1, stat!!!!!"

    March 3, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. Lev

    Mr. Maccain.

    It was you, who shook hands in Kiev with west ukrainians, who once supported Hitler. That means that you are supporting people who were world war II criiminals. And president Obama and all his team is on the same boat with you today. Don't belive me? Log on on google, searching for SS GALICIA. I am sure you will get a very interesting information,(which, of course, is not on the news) including pictures of Ukrainians greeting NAZI!!!
    If americans didn't support recent turnmoil in Kiev, wisely asking to wait for the next legal elections in 2015, then Crimea today would be trouble free. But you didn't want to wait, and result is very gruesome. Don't make Putin an enemy in this particular cituation. He is russian, and his countrymen have a lot russian relative in Ukraine, and these russian want him to act. So, next time stay away from the unknown country. By the way, west ukrainians do not like russians, and vise versa. How you can make one state where one half do like another? Good luck.

    Mr. Kruschev, who gave Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 was etnic Ukrainian. This info i do hear on news as well.

    March 3, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. plain and simple

    How about republicans figure out how to get their OWN party in order....before telling the president and the world for that matter,what to do!!!

    March 3, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    Nothing tells other country's leaders that the they can bank on both the POTUS and Congress being "weak" like "our number one priority is to make him a one-term president" followed by 6+ years of flipping out over everything the POTUS does, disagreeing with him just to disagree with him and doing everything humanly possible to undermine every single thing he attempts to do. If there's anyone to blame for other country's leaders thinking "you know, I bet I can get away with a whole lot of crap right now and the US will be powerless to respond," it's the people who have done everything in their power to generate political paralysis throughout our gov't: the GOP/Teatrolls.

    March 3, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. plain and simple

    Does anyone know when the republican run congress did ANYTHING? Check into that will you please senator McCain!

    March 3, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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