Kerry: Bush officials 'so discredited' they're not relevant to Syria debate

Bush administration officials are “so discredited” by the war in Iraq that their criticism of President Obama on Syria is irrelevant, Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday. 

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Kerry's comments on MSNBC's “All in with Chris Hayes” come after former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on Wednesday called Obama the nation's “so-called commander in chief.” And Bush's hawkish ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, said Tuesday he'd vote “no” to avoid “taking sides.”

“It just doesn't make a difference to me because they're so discredited by their own judgments that it's hard to see that they have a judgment today that is relevant to this,” Kerry said. “I'll listen to people whose judgment I clearly trust and respect.”

Kerry went on to vow that the limited action considered for Syria wouldn't turn into another Iraq or Afghanistan, the two wars that began under Bush.

“We are not presenting to the American people the same shoddy intelligence that was presented to the American people back in Iraq,” he said. “We will not put American boots on the ground. We will not take over a civil war in which the United States clearly has no interest being directly involved.”

Bush has decided to remain silent.

“The president's got a tough choice to make,” he told Fox News last week, "and if he decides to use our military, he'll have the greatest military ever backing him up.”

Kerry's appearance on the liberal show aimed to shore up support for the authorization to use force in Syria, which faces an uphill battle in the House.

While Republicans make up 80 of the 110 House members leaning towards voting “no,” according to The Hill's latest whip count, 30 are Democrats. Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) is even rallying support against the measure: His online petition had garnered more than 50,000 signatures as of Thursday evening.