Axelrod: Obama must sell military action to Americans

Updated
President Obama, surrounded by members of his delegation, speaks during his bilateral meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping, unseen, at the G-20 Summit...
President Obama, surrounded by members of his delegation, speaks during his bilateral meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping, unseen, at the G-20 Summit...
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Obama must address the American public in order for his proposed military action in Syria to be successful, said David Axelrod, hinting at a possible upcoming speech from the president to the American people as soon as early next week.

“Ultimately it seems to me that he has the biggest megaphone and he can lift this issue and explain it in a way that nobody else has the opportunity to do, and he has to do that for this to be successful,” Axelrod, former senior adviser to Obama and MSNBC contributor, said Friday on Morning Joe.

The president likely won’t make a public appeal until Congress is reassembled on Sept. 9, but scheduling conflicts could prevent him from speaking that night.

“I think they will be mobilizing—or they should be mobilizing—high-powered surrogates on this issue because the impression right now is that there is nothing but opposition to this,” Axelrod said.

President Obama doesn’t support blindly brandishing U.S military force across the globe, but he “believes deeply” in moving forward with plans to strike Syria following a national debate.

“He believes in what he’s doing. Now he has to sell it to the American people,” Axelrod said.

The White House has not said whether the president will appeal directly to the American people, but a spokesman said Thursday the administration was considering an address of some kind, NBC News reported.

Six in 10 Americans oppose unilateral U.S. missile strikes against Syria, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released this week. Democratic and Republican voters were in agreement: 42% to 54% of Democrats and 43% to 55% of Republicans said they supported launching missile strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Independents were among the most clearly opposed with 66% saying they opposed military action.

The Senate committee passed the resolution with a 10-7 vote Wednesday. The full Senate and then the House of Representatives will decide on the action after Sept. 9.

(Watch more on Morning Joe):

Axelrod: Obama must sell military action to Americans

Updated