Sunday show round-up: "Boots on the ground" in Syria

Claire McCaskill says "I don't think you want to ever rule it out"; and more from the Sunday shows

By Jillian Rayfield

Published April 28, 2013 4:46PM (EDT)

This week's Sunday shows focused on how America will respond to the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons. Here are the highlights:

On Syria:

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on CBS' Face The Nation that without some international involvement in Syria, "the whole region's gonna fall into chaos."

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., argued that the solution is not sending American troops to Syria, because that would be the “worst thing America could do right now."

“I think that the American people are weary," McCain said on NBC's Meet The Press. "They don’t want boots on the ground. I don’t want boots on the ground."

But Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said we can't rule anything out. "I don't think you want to ever rule it out," she said on Face the Nation. "Obviously, we don't want to do that unless it's absolutely necessary." Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., who appeared with McCaskill, disagreed: "I would go even beyond that, I would say no" boots on the ground. "We don't need to put boots on the ground but we need to enable their neighbors, the neighbors of Syria, to bring some sort of peaceful resolution to this."

On the Boston bombings:

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, who chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security, said on Fox News Sunday that he believes the Tsarnaev brothers were trained. "I think the experts all agree that there is someone who did train these two individuals," he said.

"And the question is where is that trainer or trainers?" McCaul continued. "Are they overseas in the Chechen region or are they in the United States?"

On CNN's State of the Union, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., argued that the Russians know more about the Tsarnaev family then they are letting on. "If they were up on the mother or someone related to the mother and listening, there's gotta be a basis for why they went up on her electronically, or why they went up on one of her affiliates or associates," he said. "We don't know that. We haven't received that information from the Russians. I think they do know more than they're telling us."

Salon contributor Steve Kornacki, who hosts MSNBC's "Up," hosted a panel that laid out how the Boston bombings have impacted the debate over immigration.


On gun control:

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., said on Fox News Sunday that he still has hope that gun background checks can pass. "I truly believe that if we have time to sell the bill and if people will read the bill," it will pass. He added: "I was with [Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Penn.] last night and Pat's totally committed to this bill. And I believe that with all my heart. And we're gonna work this bill."

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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