Rep. Charles Rangel on Monday called the situation for the United States on Syria “embarrassing,” saying America should not put its troops in harm’s way because of a “red line” drawn by the president.
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The New York Democrat was responding to a question on MSNBC about whether he’s concerned that if Congress doesn’t support President Barack Obama’s move to authorize a military strike in Syria, it will send the wrong message.
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MSNBC host Mara Schiavocampo asked Rangel, “In terms of that red line, the president was clear about that a year ago. Are you concerned if there is not action once that line has been crossed that it will send a message to the world about United States’ influence and their strength in the face of countries openly defying them?”
“I love Obama, and you’ll never find a truer Democrat than me,” Rangel responded, “but this whole idea of any president of the United States drawing lines saying that if any country does something that he considers wrong that the nation is going to war, it’s unheard of, drawing a red line. So, of course, it’s embarrassing. I wish it didn’t happen. I guess Secretary [John] Kerry is even more embarrassed than me after making his emotional speech that this was urgent.”
Rangel said he was glad the president realized the situation is not urgent and he hopes the time for discussion Obama is urging will have positive results.
“During those discussions, I hope that other people in the international community would come forward and take this great decision off of the Congress because we have to make it. Take it off of the Congress and provide some solution where we are not putting our kids in harm’s way to solve an international problem that we feel bounded, not by law, but because the president has drawn a red line,” Rangel said.