McKeon: I urged Obama to make the case for Syria directly to the American people. He didn’t much like that.
posted at 3:21 pm on September 5, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
Here’s a little more context for you on President Obama’s bizarre and reality-belying “I didn’t set the red line, the world set the red line” comment yesterday. After Tuesday’s meeting at the White House with members of Congress, it’s becoming more and more evident that the votes push through his use of force resolution for Syria are going to be pretty tough to come by — and if our reluctant commander-in-chief is really relying on Congress to help him spread the responsibility around and overcome the practically nonexistent public support, as House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon suggested on CNBC last night… well, good luck with that.
John Kerry mentioned in his hearing yesterday that he thinks Obama is totally open to doing a big Oval Office address. …I’m skeptical, and if it does happen, I would expect once again that it won’t be about what Obama himself needs to do but about what Congress needs to do for him.
I thought this attack would have been over by now, but it’s changed daily. … Yesterday in the meeting, he said this was going to be a very limited response, but a very powerful response. I don’t know how you equate those two things. … Yesterday, the president had been the one that drew the red line. Now, today, I guess he says he didn’t draw the red line. I’m a little befuddled. … I told him yesterday, he needs to go to the American people. He’s the one that’s elected by everybody. He needs to look in the camera, look them right in the eye, and tell them how he made the decision. That didn’t sit too well with him. He said, ‘You know, it’s not just the president, you guys have to go out and basically sell it, too, it’s more than just the president.’ But then, I talked to him about, ‘you need to tell them how you made the decision. They need to understand. You’re the one that has all the facts, all the information, and they need to understand how you came to this decision.’ That bothered him a little bit, too.