POLITICS

John McCain: Obama's Syria Policy Makes Him Worse Than Jimmy Carter

01/22/2014 12:11 pm ET | Updated Jan 25, 2014
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) says President Barack Obama's handling of the crisis in Syria has made him a worse leader than even the right's favorite punching bag, former President Jimmy Carter.

In a Tuesday interview with Phoenix-based KFYI, McCain suggested the Syria conflict could put the United States at risk if the administration does not respond properly.

"It is spreading throughout the region, and sooner or later it will affect the United States of America if you allow a place to become a base for al Qaeda," McCain said. "I have never seen anything like this in my life. I thought Jimmy Carter was bad, but he pales in comparison to this president in my view."

McCain continued, "We now have thousands of fighters of this -- radical, extremist, al Qaeda affiliated people pouring in from all over the world into Syria, fighting against our guys, who are the good guys and also not doing much fighting against Bashar Assad."

Listen to the full interview below:

Last year, Obama's administration was ready to launch a limited strike on Syria after reports emerged on Assad's use of chemical weapons in an attack that killed hundreds of civilians. But before Congress could vote on the matter, the U.S. agreed to a diplomatic deal under which Syria agreed to dismantle its chemical weapons stockpile.

McCain was among the senators calling for military action, although he questioned Obama's plan of attack. When the vote was still on the table, he warned his colleagues that it would be "catastrophic" if the resolution failed to pass Congress.

"A rejection of this resolution would be catastrophic, not just for him but for the institution of the presidency and the credibility of the United States," McCain said

(h/t Roll Call)

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