WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Speaking on Sunday’s “Face the Nation,” Sen. John McCain stated that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime are “euphoric” about President Obama’s announcement seeking congressional authorization for military action.
The Republican senator and 2008 GOP presidential candidate balanced his desire to see a military strategy laid out before the American people and Congress, along with his inhibitions about the message being sent to other countries.
“A case needs to be made, and I would suggest that case be made to the American people,” said McCain. “Who are, I understand, they are very skeptical, they really haven’t had the information I think they need to make a decision of this magnitude to move forward with whatever military actions we may be taking.”
However, McCain continued: “The consequences of the Congress of the United States overriding the a decision of the President of the United States of this magnitude are very, very serious.”
McCain has been one of the president’s most outspoken critics on the administration’s handling of Syria, and has stated that the Obama administration should have taken action on the two-year old Syrian conflict long ago.
The administration’s response to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons was intended to mark a “red line” that Assad could not cross. However, Sen. McCain responded that the president “didn’t say – ‘It’s a red line – and by the way I’m going to have to seek the approval of Congress.’ He said it was a red line and that the United States of America would act. And that’s a big difference, and that’s one of the reasons why this is so problematic.”
McCain went on to say that the United States needs to calibrate the image it’s sending to “a very dangerous world” where he said he believes, “we’ve lost enormous credibility.”