President Obama failed in his promise to remove the U.S. military from the Middle East, in addition to poorly leading in the fight against the Islamic State, according to Sen. John McCain.
"[T]he fact is the president came to the presidency to get us out of conflict no matter what. He didn't," the Arizona Republican said Monday on the Hugh Hewitt show. "What he didn't understand is that just because we leave does not only mean that the conflict doesn't end, but it escalates."
"The classic example, of course, is leaving Iraq without a residual force after the sacrifice of thousands of young Americans," McCain added, saying the U.S. "had it won" there.
McCain, the Republican presidential nominee in 2008, also spoke out against Obama's comments on defeating extremists — that ideologies are "defeated by other ideas," and "not defeated with guns" — as delusional.
"And again, the delusion here that somehow this is just simply something that we can win by having nice programs and have Islamic clerics condemn them, and all that would be good, but first, you have to defeat them on the battlefield. Then all the rest of that follows," McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, added, before quoting Otto Von Bismarck and saying "the issue will be decided by blood and steel."