WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Sen. John McCain says President Barack Obama needs to start reaching out to Republicans in order to not become a lame duck commander-in-chief.
Speaking to Time, the longtime Republican senator from Arizona said he doesn’t see the “articulate and attractive” Obama anymore.
“There are some things that he could find that we could do on a bipartisan basis, and that may not be his top agenda items, but he’s got to do more outreach,” McCain told Time. “I thought when he had a couple of dinners with Republican senators, we really had a good environment there. Because he is a very, very articulate and attractive guy in a setting with eight or nine senators and him. Because he was smarter than the rest of us.”
McCain continued: “But I don’t see that now. I don’t see any of that.”
McCain’s comments come as Russia invades Ukraine, amassing a reported 16,000 troops in Crimea. McCain said Russia’s actions are “not acceptable.”
“We are all Ukrainians in the respect that we have a sovereign nation … that is again being taken into the Russian orbit, taken in as part of Russia,” McCain told Time. “That is not acceptable to an America that stands up for the rights of human beings.”
During a speech Monday before the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, McCain blamed Obama’s “feckless” foreign policy for the current state of Ukraine.
Obama “believes that the Cold War is over. That’s fine, it is over, but Putin doesn’t believe it’s over,” McCain said.
McCain also remarked that Obama turned his back on the people of Iran in 2009.
“In 2009, many of you may remember, as we saw on YouTube, we saw a young woman named Neda bleed to death in the street in Tehran when the people of Iran rose up and said, ‘Obama, Obama, are you with us or are you with them?’ And you know what? The president of the United States didn’t say a word,” McCain told the lobby group.
Even though he is very critical about Obama, McCain still wants to work on foreign policy with him.
“I’d want to work with right now, immediately, on the Ukraine, getting them the assistance that they need,” McCain told Time. “I want to work with him in getting International Monetary Fund funding. I want to work with him on a lot of democracy efforts throughout the world. I want to work with him on relations with China. There’s so many areas that we can work together.”