Rep. Kinzinger: Obama Not 'Focused' Enough on Syria

Monday, 09 Sep 2013 02:22 PM

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President Barack Obama is "not intensely focused" enough on his plan to launch a strike against Syria in response to Syrian President Bashar Assad's reported use of chemical weapons against his own people, Rep. Adam Kinzinger said Monday.

The image of the president going out to play golf after making a statement that he would go to Congress for approval to attack Syria sent "a message to the American people that he is not intensely focused on this," the Illinois Republican said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"Last week he should have delayed going to the G20 [Summit]. He should have addressed the American people from the Oval Office. He should have sent [Secretary of State John] Kerry out to do what he did, and been very aggressive about selling the American people on this," he continued.

"Instead, he made the comment about going to Congress. He should have called us back immediately to debate it," Kinzinger said.

A proponent of military action against Syria, the Illinois congressman also suggested that the administration carry out an attack much broader than what has been talked about publicly.

"You can take out Assad's runways and take out his airplanes, his command and control facilities. Take out stuff that, frankly, he doesn't want to lose. When you do that, he feels the pain of all this," Kinzinger said, that history would look on Congress' vote whether to approve a U.S. strike as a "defining moment."

"I understand we are war-weary," he said. "But, in 10, 20, 50 years, history books are going to say this was a defining moment in world history. Did Americans do the right thing when it was called upon to do it?

"If we are not doing it, nobody else is," he added.


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