Yarmuth to Obama: 'I'm not nearly there yet' on supporting strike on Syria

09/03/2013 05:48 PM

After a briefing over the weekend, Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth said he remains among a bipartisan group in Congress who are skeptical that military action against Syria is necessary or warranted.

“As I’ve told the administration … I’m not nearly there yet,” Yarmuth said (1:20 of the interview). “… If the president goes to the G-20 this week and is able to rally some additional support from the world, that might change my perspective. Unless there is some kind of news that is not out there yet, I’d have a hard time supporting it.”

Yarmuth’s comments came hours before U.S. Sen. Rand Paul had a heated exchange with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a Senate committee hearing on possible military action. Yarmuth and Paul have expressed similar views that U.S. interests or allies would have to be at risk to justify the U.S. to take military action against any sovereign nation, including Syria. In fact, most of Kentucky’s congressional delegation is leaning against action in Syria, as Pure Politics has reported.

President Barack Obama has called on Congress to approve a “limited” and “proportional” response that will also “degrade Assad’s capabilities.” Congress is expected to vote on Sept. 9.

And Yarmuth said that will be a “vote of conscience” (2:50 of the interview) that won’t cut down party lines.

Here’s the raw interview with Yarmuth in downtown Louisville on Tuesday:

Yarmuth also offered his theory about why Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has kept close his views on a potential strike on Syria. (6:00 of the video)


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