McCain Blames Russian Airstrikes on Obama As do other Republicans By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Sep 30, 2015 4:04 PM CDT 191 comments Comments In this Sept. 22, 2015 file photo, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) (Newser) – Russia launched airstrikes against Syria Wednesday, and John McCain was quick to blame it on Obama. "It did not have to be this way—but this is the inevitable consequence of hollow words, red lines crossed, tarnished moral influence, leading from behind, and a total lack of American leadership" in the Middle East, McCain said on the Senate floor, per Politico. Russia has gained power as America loses power in the region due to the president's policies, McCain argued, going on to blame Obama for not following up on a promise to "degrade and destroy" ISIS and insisting that the US needs to do more to help Middle East forces fighting against the terror group. Others echoed McCain's criticism, Politico notes. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, for one, released a statement: "Putin has this opening because of the absence of any US strategy in Syria. The US must reject Russia's interference and rally our partners to do the same." Per Sinclair Broadcast Group, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee has similar complaints: "Our country has zero credibility in the region and Russia knows that there's no way he's gonna get any pushback from us. ... This is the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II and our country has stood by at various intervals where we could have done something about it. I don't think there's anything that's going to provoke this administration into taking action. That's not what this administration is about."