03:22 - Source: CNN
McCain: 'Obama's done a complete 180'

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Sen. John McCain jokes that he's thinking about running in 2016 on the Colbert Report

McCain said that he is "leaning towards" another Senate reelection bid in 2016

He will chair the Armed Services Committee starting in January 2015

Washington CNN —  

Sen. John McCain went on Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” Monday night with the intention of talking about his new book, “13 Soldiers,” but he left with an endorsement for another presidential bid.

After McCain said that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was never “the right man” for the job, Colbert asked him whether he was on the show to announce his ambitions for the post.

“Actually I was thinking about running for president again,” McCain joked. “What do you think?”

Following a roar of cheers, a stunned Colbert endorsed the five-term Arizona senator.

“You would have the full resources of the ‘Colbert Report’ at your back in 2016, if it were still on the air,” he said, a reference to how Colbert’s show will end after he takes over CBS’s “The Late Show” next year.

How to run for president from the Senate

Instead, McCain, who has served in the Senate for 30 years, might need his help in another race that year: his potential Senate reelection. Earlier last month McCain told Arizona reporters that he is “strongly considering” and “leaning towards” another bid.

While he has yet to announce his decision, McCain may want to stick around a little bit longer now that he’s been elected the new chairman of the Armed Services Committee. The senator, who has proudly touted his experience as a Vietnam War solider, has been a tough critic against President Barack Obama’s recent foreign policy decisions in the fight against ISIS.

McCain told Colbert that boots will inevitably touch ground in Syria soon enough, especially if the President is still committed to eradicating ISIS. He said that more Air Force controllers, special forces, and intelligence agents must be sent over to win the fight, but warns against “a flawed policy” like the one the Bush administration implemented in Iraq and Afghanistan.

John McCain’s political comeback

“It’s got to be done in a way that would be more effective than sending in a whole bunch of troops, not sending in the large numbers that we did in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said.

He adds, “I was against it…guys like you were calling me the brave maverick, now when I said that Obama’s mishandling it, now he’s the angry old man. I’m not sure which one I am!”

John McCain: ISIS fight reminds him of Vietnam War