Politics -- September 11, 2013 at 5:37 PM ET
McCain: Obama's message falls short
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Wednesday praised President Barack Obama's Syria address for appealing to the emotions of the American people, but said the speech fell short in other respects.
"I think he was very eloquent in talking about the tragedies that have been caused by this war," McCain told Gwen Ifill in an interview to air on the NewsHour Wednesday evening.
"I don't think he made a strong case because I think he was trying to sell the idea of attacks, but at the same time saying that we have to pause," McCain added, "I think that perhaps it might have been more effective if he had waited a couple days to see how this whole Russia option plays out."
McCain also said he was "saddened" the president did not talk about providing support to the Free Syrian Army. "It was a real blow to their morale," the Republican Senator said.
On the fresh diplomatic opening offered by Russia, McCain expressed skepticism, given the country's past support for Syria.
"One has to question whether the Russians are really sincere in this effort. And, it doesn't give you confidence when (Russian President Vladimir) Putin says, 'Well, the United States has to renounce all use of violence.' That is obviously unacceptable."
McCain added: "This has to be played out, Gwen. It has to be at least for a period of time. I hope a short period of time. But we cannot ignore it."
For more, tune in to the NewsHour tonight to watch Gwen's full interview with McCain.