Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) said the Islamic State (IS, ISIL, or ISIS) is the "most powerful" caliphate in history, and warned that Americans are just one plane ride from a terrorist attack.
McCain said America lost its gains in Iraq after the surge due to "feckless leadership" by President Barack Obama, and now "the flags of ISIS fly over Fallujah."
"We need a leader. We need someone who understands the challenges of the United States of America to our national security," McCain said Monday to a gathering of veterans at the USS Kidd and Veterans Memorial in Baton Rouge.
"We could have left a residual force behind, thanks to David Petraeus and the service and sacrifice of so many brave young Americans," he said. "That situation was stable. But Barack Obama and his feckless leadership removed all of our forces and now it was inevitable what has taken place."
"We now have the largest, richest, most powerful caliphate and base for terrorism in history," McCain continued. "They now encompass an area larger than the state of Indiana and they are dedicated to attacking the United States of America."
"The leader of ISIS is a guy called [Abu Bakr al-] Baghdadi. He spent four years in our prison called Camp Bucca in Iraq," he said. "The day he left he said to his American captors, ‘I’ll see you in New York.’ Now, you can believe Susan Rice and all these others who have never have heard a shot fired in anger, by the way. Or you can believe Baghdadi."
"All they have to do is get a plane ticket and they get to Europe and come to the United States," McCain said.
McCain’s remarks came during a campaign event for Louisiana Republican Senate candidate Bill Cassidy.