Corker: Obama could face ‘problematic’ vote on Syria strike

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the top Republican in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, predicted Saturday that President Obama could have difficulty corralling the votes on Capitol Hill for a limited strike against the Syrian regime.

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Corker, speaking on CNN, noted he supports a “surgical” strike, but added that Obama has work to do to get enough lawmakers on board, adding that Obama should use “every ounce of political capital that he has to sell this.”

“I think it is problematic [in the House] and it could be problematic in both bodies,” Corker said of the authorization vote.

He spoke shortly after Obama said he would seek congressional authorization for a strike in response to alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.

“The American people today are not supportive of this,” Corker said. “Today, I do not think the country is there, and it is very important for the president to lay out why he wishes to do this and, candidly to us privately, how he wishes to do this.”

Corker applauded Obama’s decision, announced Saturday, to seek congressional authorization and reiterated his support for a strike against the Syrian regime.

“They now need to use every ounce of energy they have to make a case to the American people and to Congress,” Corker said.