House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) supports the White House on taking military strikes in Syria, but on Sunday he said the White House has done an “awful job” explaining its case.
“The only thing more confusing to me than what their Syria strategy has been the last two years is their strategy to try to get buy-in by representatives in Congress and the American people,” Rogers said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“It’ is a confusing mess up to this point, and that is what I think has been their biggest challenge on what is an incredibly important issue,” he said.
Rogers, one of only a handful of House Republicans who supports military action in Syria so far, said that the White House didn’t yet have the votes to pass a Syria resolution.
The Intelligence chairman said it was “mystifying” that Obama called for Congress to authorize military force in Syria last week, then didn’t call lawmakers back into session and left the country for the G-20.
“It’s very clear he’s lost support in the last week,” Rogers said. “Members were back in their districts without access to the classified information they needed, I think, to come to a good conclusion.”
The administration held a series of briefings for both House members and senators over the past week, which did not appear to sway lawmakers on whether to take military action.
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said in his interviews on all five Sunday shows that it was still “too early” to judge congressional opinion as the White House stepped up its lobbying efforts.
McDonough’s appearances were part of the media blitz, which will ramp up further this week when Obama does a round of network TV interviews on Monday and then addresses the nation from the White House on Tuesday.