News & Politics

Obama Refuses to Say Whether He'll Strike Even if Congress Says No

At a press conference at the G20 meeting, Obama addressed Syrian crisis but once again refused to answer whether a strike will occur in absence of congressional approval.

During the G20 meeting in St. Petersburg Russia on Friday, President Obama addressed the Syrian crisis but repeatedly refused to give a direct response as to whether he'd order a strike even if the House votes against intervention.

CNN’s Brianna Keilar asked Obama how he would proceed if Congress next week rejects a pending resolution supporting strikes in Syria against President Bashar Assad.  The President danced around the issue without actually answering the question.

Two more reporters asked the President the same question, forcing him to finally reply:

"You're not getting any direct response … If you think I was going to give you a different answer, no,” he said. “I put this before congress for a reason.  I think we will be more effective and stronger if in fact congress authorizes it.  I will not engage in parlor games now about whether or not it will pass."

On Wednesday Obama asserted he had the right to strike Syria without congressional approval at a news conference in Stockholm.  The comments came after he had managed to win support of some politicians on his plans to lauch a limited strike on Syria.

Obama is expected to make a public announcement on Tuesday and will appeal to the American people for support.  Such a move is likely to be met with tough resistance from the American public who remain heavily opposed to any U.S. intervention.

Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.