Meet the Press   |  September 15, 2013

McCain: Deal on Syria a 'very, very big gamble'

Sen. John McCain of Arizona details what concessions America will have to make in order to move forward with diplomatic negotiations with the Syrian government.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> your goal is the president's goal ultimately --

>> that bashar al assad --

>> should go. should be out of power.

>> yes.

>> what should the us sacrifice in order to achieve that goal?

>> sacrifice some of our weapons that are viable like anti-tank and anti-air weapons which we have not given them. ak-47s don't do very well against tanks and give them the support that they need to succeed. look --

>> do you have a partner on the other side on the opposition that you are prepared to say is going to lead syria in a democratic future.

>> then we'll have to help the syrian national council get rid of the jihadists and extremists and two years ago, by the way, they weren't there. a year ago with the momentum on their side, until 5,000 hezbollah, iranians stepped it up. it's going to be tough, it's going to be difficult but to believe that the syrian people who are moderate are willing to be governed by al nusra is a misreading of --

>> this deal which the president supports, a winner or a loser in your mind gentleman.

>> i think it's a loser because i think it gave russia a position in the middle east which they haven't had since 1970 . we are now depending on the good will of the russian people if bashar al assad violates this agreement and i am of the firm belief given his record that is a very, very big gamble.

>> senator mccain , thank you very much. as always i appreciate