Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was grilled at a pair of town halls Thursday in Arizona by constituents who expressed strident opposition to military intervention in Syria.
McCain, one of the most vocal oppoents for military action in Syria, was berated at two events held in Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz. In Phoenix, McCain was shouted down angrily by a man.
“You don’t respect our view,” the man yelled. “We didn’t send you to get war for us! We sent you to stop the war!”
“What you’re doing, sir, is not just disrespectful to me but you’re disrespectful to others who would like their opinion and their views heard,” McCain told the man.
A woman there urged McCain to search for a diplomatic solution in Syria, telling the senator that “we cannot afford to shed more Syrian blood.” The woman’s mention of the word “diplomacy” prompted McCain to raise his eyebrows. At one point during the Phoenix event, a man stood next to McCain while holding a sign that read, “Don’t Bomb Syria!!!”
McCain received an even rowdier reception in Tucson, where police escorted out two men who disrupted the event, according to the Arizona Daily Star. The Daily Star reported that the Republican was repeatedly drowned out by jeers and that a veteran walked out of the event because he was upset with one of McCain’s answers.
McCain said that in the wake of the Iraq war, he understands why so many have misgivings about getting involved in the Syrian conflict. He insisted that “what happened in Iraq cannot and should not happen again” and asserted that he does not advocate boots on the ground in Syria. But McCain warned that the civil war in Syria could have dangerous consequences throughout the region.
“This is a situation that in my view can deteriorate and engulf the entire Middle East unless something changes,” he said.
Watch video of the Phoenix event, via CNN: