Rep. Peter King: Obama ‘abdicating responsibility as commander in chief’

President Obama is abdicating his responsibility as commander in chief by seeking authorization from Congress to attack Syria, Rep. Peter King said Saturday.

In a scathing statement that differed sharply from the reaction of House GOP leaders, King said Obama was making a mistake that would undermine future presidents.

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“President Obama is abdicating his responsibility as commander-in-chief and undermining the authority of future presidents,” said King, a former Homeland Security Committee chairman who has flirted with running for president in 2016.

“The president does not need Congress to authorize a strike on Syria. If Assad's use of chemical weapons against civilians deserves a military response, and I believe it does, and if the president is seeking congressional approval, then he should call Congress back into a special session at the earliest date,” King said.

“The president doesn't need 535 Members of Congress to enforce his own redline,” he concluded.

Obama said Saturday he believed his executive authority allowed him to strike Syria without authorization from Congress. Yet he said he believed it was important to make the request.

His decision was applauded by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders.