Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, responded to President Obama’s statement on Syria by saying “abstract notions about international norms should never displace U.S. sovereignty to act, or refuse to act, for our national security.”
Cruz made the statement in a press release Saturday following Obama’s remarks from the Rose Garden, in which he said he would seek congressional approval for military action in Syria.
Cruz applauded Obama for agreeing to seek approval for any strike in Syria, but said that since Obama “did not request an emergency session of congress, that must mean that he agrees there is no imminent threat requiring the commander in chief to act without consulting the representatives of the American people.”
Cruz also said that he “remain[s] concerned” that any action in Syria would not be in the national interest of the U.S.
Cruz said the U.S.’s chief concern, if it goes into Syria, should be to make sure that chemical weapons do not fall “into the hands of al Qaeda or other terrorists who might use them against us and our allies.”
Cruz closed by saying “it is now incumbent upon President Obama to make his case and persuade Congress that his plan is necessary, and the best course to preserve our security and protect our liberties. Like the President, I welcome this debate and I agree this is an issue of the highest seriousness that transcends partisan politics.”
Cruz’s statement came on the same day that protests against the war in Syria were held in several cities across the country, including Washington, D.C. Anti-war protesters outnumbered war supporters, and many there had voted for Obama and didn’t expect him to be making a decision about starting another war.
“No I didn’t [expect this from Obama],” one protester told the Washington Examiner. “I’m very disappointed.”
Another protester said he didn’t expect a threat of military action against another country “so quickly,” (five years in?) but that “he’s a politician, you can’t really expect much.”
Other protesters pointed out that Obama is a “Nobel Peace Prize winning president that has unilaterally chosen military action,” although they had not yet heard that Obama would seek congressional approval before acting.