McCain warns GOP against isolationism

Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) warned Sunday that the GOP is at risk of becoming an isolationist party and he urged Congress to pass a resolution giving President Obama authorization to continue the air war in Libya.

“I do want to send a message, and that is that we cannot move into an isolationist party. We cannot repeat the lessons of the 1930s, when the United States of America stood by while bad things happened in the world. We are the lead nation in the world, and America matters, and we must lead. But sometimes that leadership entails sacrifice, sadly,” he said.

McCain said there is a vital national interest is at stake in Libya in part because Col. Moammar Gadhafi will conduct attacks against the U.S. if he remains in power.

Speaking on ABC's "This Week," he said his own party risks putting politics over policy.

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“If Gadhafi remains in power, it's clear that you will see him engage in an escalated effort, of course, to harm the United States of America, obviously,” he said.

“There's always been an isolation strain -- isolation strain in the Republican Party, the Pat Buchanan wing of our party. But now it seems to have moved more center stage, so to speak,” he said.

McCain said he was concerned about what presidential candidates like Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) said in a CNN debate in New Hampshire on the issue.

McCain has worked with Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) on a resolution of authorization.

“So the War Powers Act, every president has said that they don't agree with its constitutionality, but they have adhered to it. So the Congress of the United States should pass a resolution -- and Sen. John Kerry and I have the resolution that's ready to go -- that would comply with the War Powers Act,” he said.

In the interview, McCain said that he supports a withdrawal of 5,000 to 10,000 support troops from Afghanistan.