Rumsfeld: Obama 'So-Called Commander in Chief'

Wednesday, 04 Sep 2013 12:27 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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If President Barack Obama intends for the United States to strike Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons, he should do it with "value" and "purpose," former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said Wednesday.

Rumsfeld, who served both Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, questioned Obama's leadership on "Fox & Friends."

Urgent: Should U.S. Strike Syria? Vote Here

"Presidents, as commander in chief, have authority. But, they have to behave like a commander in chief," Rumsfeld said. "The essence of leadership really is clarity and a vision. There hasn't been one."

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"The president's got a tough job. We have to respect that. But I would dearly love to see him stand up and say what he believes, rather than looking to blame others and lay off responsibility on others," Rumsfeld said.

"It seems to me, if you're going to do something, you ought to do something that has a value and has a purpose, rather than sending signals out that what we're going to do won't be much, it won't last long, and it won't end up with any changed circumstance on the ground," he said.

Rumsfeld also explained how he could understand how both the American people and other nations could be confused by the president's foreign policy.

He recalled that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Syrian President Bashar Assad a reformer, but now people are expected to understand the damage he's doing to the people of his country.

"The fact that the American people are confused, and the fact that the Congress seems uncertain, and the international community is not supportive, is a reflection of the fact that the so-called commander in chief has not been acting as a commander in chief," Rumsfeld said.




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