Saying the president has painted himself into a corner, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said that the Obama administration must take military action against Syria if diplomacy fails.
"After tonight's speech, there is no other right answer," Graham said on CNN. "If diplomacy does not achieve the desired result of getting these weapons off the market, (Obama) must act."
Graham and fellow Republican Sen. John McCain have been pushing for action against the regime of President Bashar Assad for months.
Graham said Obama's moral case was persuasive. "I think he probably stopped some Democratic bleeding," he said. Obama has been having a hard time, even with members of his own party, getting support for a limited missile strike after Assad used poison gas on civilians last month.
Tuesday's speech was intended to persuade a skeptical public. Obama lobbied members of the Senate, where the vote count is close, earlier in the day.
Graham said that regardless of how the speech played in America, Assad should have been put on notice by it.
"If I was in Syria tonight and I heard this speech – I don't know what it's going to do here in America – but if I'm Assad I've got to believe after tonight, I'm going to get hit," Graham said.
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