ABC News – President Obama Urges Congress to Vote Conscience on Syria, Even If Public Opposed (ABC News)
President Obama today conceded that he could fail to convince the American public to back proposed U.S. military strikes against Syria, but said that members of Congress should vote to approve the action anyway.
“It’s conceivable that, at the end of the day, I don’t persuade a majority of the American people that it’s the right thing to do,” Obama said in response to a question from ABC News during a solo press conference at the conclusion of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.
But, Obama said, members of Congress need to consider the lessons of World War II and their own consciences and vote ‘yes’ to authorize the use of force, even if it means going against the opinion of the majority of their constituents.
“Each member of Congress is going to have to decide if [they] think it’s the right thing to do for America’s national security and the world’s national security,” Obama said. “Ultimately, you listen to your constituents, but you’ve got to make some decisions about what you believe is right for America.”
A deeply skeptical public remains Obama’s biggest hurdle to winning authorization from Congress to use military force against President Bashar al-Assad after he allegedly used chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war.
The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll finds nearly six in ten Americans oppose military intervention in Syria, even if chemical weapons were used by the Bashar al-Assad regime.
Obama said he will make his case directly to the American people about the need to act during a televised national address on Tuesday evening from the White House.