King: Obama shows 'clear failure of leadership' on Syria

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Sunday that President Obama has shown a "clear failure of leadership" on Syria.

King, the former chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, criticized Obama for sending "mixed signals" to Syria by requesting congressional approval for a military strike.

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“If he says this is as important as it is, and sending so many mixed signals over really the last year and certainly over the last ten days, this is a clear failure of leadership,” King said on Fox News Sunday.

King said Obama and congressional leaders are also waiting to long to use force against Syria over that country's alleged use of chemical weapons. The Obama administration has said it has solid intelligence leaving little doubt about the use of chemical weapons, including the sarin nerve gas.

If Obama feels strongly that force is justified, King said he should "call us back into session tomorrow. We can't be waiting nine, ten days, and allowing Syria to prepare for this and sending such a mixed signal to the world and particularly to Iran.”

He also said the failure to act in Syria may ultimately embolden Iran.

"If we can't stop Syria on a red line with chemical weapons, how can anyone expect us to stop Iran with the red line on nuclear weapons?" King asked.

King, who has talked of running for president in 2016, has emerged as one of the biggest critics of Obama's decision to ask Congress for authorization to strike Syria.

Many GOP lawmakers have applauded Obama for making the request.

Those in King's camp include Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).