McCain: Consequences Of Missed Benchmarks Are ‘Obvious,’ But ‘I Can’t Tell You’ What They Are

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has introduced an Iraq resolution which sets out “benchmarks” for the Iraqi government, but does not spell out any consequences if the benchmarks aren’t met.

Asked about the resolution this morning on ABC’s This Week, McCain declared, “Well, the consequences are obvious.” But, he said, “I can’t tell you what the other options are, because there are no good options to this.” Watch it:


McCain isn’t the only one who can’t make sense of toothless benchmarks. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said last week that benchmarks were “the best way to determine if the Iraqis are holding up their end of the bargain but he stopped short of saying what the U.S. should do it the Iraqis fall short. ‘I think everyone knows what the consequences are,’ McConnell said without specifying what he thinks they are, even when pressed. ‘I’m not going to start playing out the scenarios,’ he added.”


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STEPHANOPOULOS: And in fact, your resolution lays out benchmarks for the Iraqi government to meet. But critics of it say there are no consequences spelled out if they don’t meet these goals. There’s no teeth.

MCCAIN: Well, the consequences are obvious. I mean, if they’re not meeting those benchmarks, then obviously the new strategy isn’t succeeding. And I can’t tell you what the other options are, because there are no good options to this. If there was a good option to what we’re doing, to sending more young Americans in harm’s way, I’d tell you. They’re all bad options, in my view, if this one isn’t supported and succeeds.