Two Republicans appealed to the president on Monday: You need to convince the American people to intervene in Syria.
“You’re right on your decision, now show Americans why you’re right,” Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on Monday’s Morning Joe.
“I would love some passion on what he wants to accomplish here and why it’s in our national security interest. You can’t start by saying what you’re not going to do and you don’t like to do it and it’s hard to do it,” he said. “We get that Mr. President, we understand all that.”
Rogers, who supports a strike on the Syrian government after the White House said it found evidence of chemical weapon use, said he hopes the president will show America why it’s so crucial to act during his Tuesday speech.
“Mr. President, lay out the case. It’s an important case for the future of national security of this country,” he said. “If he does that, he’s gonna get votes.”
Despite a week of appeals from the president’s most senior staff, Obama does not yet have the votes he needs to authorize a strike, according to Whip counts.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois and member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joined Rogers’ criticisms.
“The president’s failed to make his case,” Kinzinger said on Morning Joe. “I think hopefully over the next 48 hours he does that, but he’s definitely failed to [so far].”
Kinzinger supports the strike, saying that the use of chemical weapons “has absolutely no place in this world” and America must uphold the red line so that “the cost of using them will far exceed any benefit gain.”
“I understand that we’re war weary but in 10, 20, 50 years, history books are gonna say this was a defining moment in American history. Was America war-weary or did America do the right thing when it was called upon it to do it?” he said. “Cause if we’re not doing it, nobody’s doing it.”
Rogers said he believes other nations suspected of possessing chemical weapons like Iran and North Korea are watching the situation in Syria to see how the U.S. reacts. Inaction, he said, sets a dangerous precedent.
“This is bigger than Syria,” Rogers said. “It is a proxy war.”