Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) blamed President Barack Obama for creating the conditions that allowed the Islamic State to flourish in the Middle East, and declared that in his long life, he's never seen a worse administration.
"What's happening in the Middle East today is not like a hurricane or an earthquake or a dust cloud that's just sort of an accident of nature," McCain said Monday in an interview with KFYI radio in Arizona. "It is because of a failed, feckless foreign policy on the part of this president, which we're going to be paying for for a long, long time."
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Monday that the Obama administration is the worst he's ever seen. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
"This administration is the worst that I have ever seen by far, and I've never seen the world in more turmoil, and it didn't happen by accident," he added.
McCain said it's too late to simply train and arm members of the Free Syrian Army and hope they can fight the Islamic State, since there are only about 5,000 of those troops, and more than 30,000 Islamic State fighters. He also said the Free Syrian Army is being bombed from the air by the Syrian government, and it's not clear those forces will only focus on fighting the terrorist group.
McCain — who ran unsuccessfully against Obama in 2008 — also sharply criticized reports that Obama himself wants to be involved in picking out targets for U.S. airstrikes.
"I'm old enough to remember, that's what Lyndon Johnson did and [former Defense Secretary Robert] McNamara, during the Vietnam War," McCain said. "Tell me what expertise Barack Obama has on selecting our deciding whether to hit what target or not. Is that what he learned as a community activist?"
Several retired military officials have criticized Obama's plan to rely only on airstrikes to fight the Islamic State, and have said Obama should not keep assuring the enemy that it won't have to face U.S. troops. Earlier Monday, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Bill Clinton made that point on national television.
McCain said that while these officials are not in "open rebellion," they are in clear disagreement with Obama over his strategy and whether it will work.