Since Syria has burst into the national forefront in recent weeks, potential 2016 candidates for both parties have offered their opinions regarding whether the United States should enter this conflict and commit our resources.

This isn’t a complete list since most of them have not offered a public statement. If you find any more potential candidates opining on Syria, leave them in the comments and I’ll add them to this story.

Ted Cruz:

The Lone Star State conservative said Monday that America shouldn’t intervene in Syria in the wake of a deadly chemical weapons attack in the country last week.

“The United States Armed Forces doesn’t exist to be a policeman for the world and I certainly hope the reaction isn’t lobbing some cruise missiles in to disagree with Assad’s murderous actions,” Cruz said on Fox News.

“The focus should be the only justifiable reason for U.S. military forces to be engaged is to protect our national security and sadly, that has been the missing variable from this administration’s approach from the beginning as they allowed Assad to slaughter over 100,000 of his people,” he added.

Joe Biden:

“The president believes and I believe that those who use chemical weapons against defenseless men, women and children should and must be held accountable,” Biden said.

He gave no hints about what “accountable” means in terms of U.S. actions, but his comments came amidst increasing rhetoric aimed at Syrian leaders from White House officials.

Biden cast the use of chemical weapons in Syria as a national security problem for the United States.

“National security is strengthened when we hold accountable those who violate international norms that are the foundation of global security, and ultimately, American security,” he said. “And there is no doubt that an essential international norm has been violated. Chemical weapons have been used.”

Rand Paul:

“Even if you believe we should arm Islamic fighters in Syria, shouldn’t, at the very least, Congress vote on the matter?” Sen. Paul asked of the crowd. “The Constitution is very clear. Congress is to declare war, not the president.”

“Nevertheless, President Obama is moving ahead with plans to get involved in the Syrian civil war, without the authorization of Congress,” he said.

“Last week I was told by the administration, you know what their goal is in Syria? To fight to a stalemate,” Mr. Paul said. “I’ve told them I’m not sending my kids or your kids or any American soldiers to fight for stalemate. When we fight, we fight to win, we fight for American principles, we fight for the American flag and we come home after we win.”

“For our country’s sake, certainly for our soldiers’ sake—for the sake of every veteran who ever donned a uniform and fought for this country—America’s mission should always be to keep the peace, not police the world,” Sen. Paul said.

There are many other potential candidates but I was unable to find them addressing the topic of Syria. If you find any stories, please post in the comments.

Update

Some updates per the comments section.

Rick Santorum:

“…Syria is a situation where you have a dictator there who was the closest ally to Iran. One could argue that at the time that a revolution was beginning to start there. This was an opportunity to make sure the United States engaged and was able to equip, support and do what we could do to help those who wanted to overthrow Assad, whose values were consistent with our values that could be an ally going forward. That would have been one way to address this issue. What the president did was nothing. He decided to stand aside after some horrible things that Assad was accused of came to light. The President distanced himself from Assad even more and decided to on balance support the rebels. Unfortunately, by then since we did not engage at all with the rebel forces, what happened was al Qaeda…has become the dominant player in the rebel forces. We now have no side. There’s no side for us to cheer for.”

“… I don’t have any doubt they [chemical weapons] were used. I’m not too sure we know with certainty which side was using them. And it wouldn’t be a surprise to me that both sides were using them or that the radical Islamists are using them. Because these are folks whose watch word is terrorism. There’s nothing that strikes more terror then weapons of mass destruction, particularly chemical and biological weapons. While I agree with Secretary Kerry – it is very clear that chemical weapons were used. The idea that we need to be punishing Assad and doing things to tip the balance in favor of al Qaeda who are running the rebel forces to me is a very questionable tactic of itself….”

Marco Rubio: (a little outdated from April of this year but at that time he called for Assad’s removal)

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican, has been critical of the Obama administration for not acting sooner. Back in April Rubio was calling for an end to “passive engagement” with Syria after early reports that chemical weapons had been used.

“It is in the vital national security interest of our nation to see Assad’s removal,” Rubio said in April.

Keep ’em coming.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Ted Cruz press release June 20, 2013

    “The President would be better off focusing clearly on the one thing that is in our national security interests: securing Syria’s large stockpile of chemical weapons, We know Assad has used these weapons, and there is good reason to suspect the al Qaida-affiliated rebels would use them as well if they could get their hands on them. This poses an intolerable threat not only to our friends in the region, but also to the United States. We need to be developing a clear, practical plan to go in, locate the weapons, secure or destroy them, and then get out. The United States should be firmly in the lead to make sure the job is done right.”

    • Tess: That is EXACTLY what Obama said (in other words) in his 2012 comment. I wish he had said it this clearly, but he was being badgered and had to speak on his feet. Perhaps Obama should have done a “press release,” too, and told the media it would be handed out.

      But since Nate asked, I found the quote below. It’s old, but I doubt he’s changed. Rubio seems to be a NeoCon in sheep’s clothing:

      –“It is in the vital national security interest of our nation to see Assad’s removal,” Rubio said in April. (Newsmax)

  2. Are we the only nation capable of policing the world – we are part of NATO. It seems to me that other nations in NATO have more to lose than the US is chemical weapons are further dispersed. Let England, France, or Germany go kick butt, rather it was Assad or an al Qaeda group posing as Assad. BTW were there any al Qaeda in the rebels that were killed???

    http://en.ria.ru/russia/20130827/182995837/Russian-Deputy-Premier-Calls-West-Monkey-With-Hand-Grenade.html
    I think the US should stand down from Middle-East / Islamic affairs, simply “lead from Behind” and tell the other nations that are 3000 miles closer to jump in and take some leadership for their perils.

    But BO won’t do that – this (throw some missiles at an ammo depot) is something he can do that can only hurt and downgrade the US’s stature and once more start something that we will never finish. AND he won’t get Congressional approval, because he believes he is a Monarch, the MainMedia supports him, crap even O’Reilly does, and there is no group in Congress capable of taking down King BO for something even this blatantly un-constitutional…

    Quit “Wagging the Dog” and start getting our own house in order – 17gigabuck debt, unbalanced budget, DOJ and Whistleblowers, IRS and their hundreds of infractions, some oversight independent of the Administration and Democrats on the NSA, and last but yet foremost: Benghazi and “Standing Down” to run guns, fake a kidnapping, and get four Americans killed because of hairbrained irresponsible failed plots.

    Three more years of this crap – he will win and turn us into a 2nd rate, bankrupt nation!!! .

  3. Rick Santorum appears to be the only one who has expressed doubts about just who used these chemical weapons. Bravo! He understands the mindset and tactics of Islamists and how they have no problem killing their own to accomplish the greater goal. No concrete proof has been provided to indicate Assad ordered this attack, and had he done so, what would have been his reasons for doing it? The Al-Quaeda infiltrated rebels have every reason to gas the Syrian people to bait us into attacking Assad for them. Santorum knows this is a very real possibility. He authored the Syrian Accountability Act in 2003 well ahead of this situation now and has been spot on with his warnings of what was to come if the threat of radical Islam was not met with strong American policies to contain it years ago. This does not mean war as so many assume. I trust Rick Santorum’s knowledge, expertise, and level headed, resolute stand on how this threat of radical Islam needs to be addressed and countered from within and without. What truly frightens me is this starry-eyed 2016 candidate vetting process so many are employing in selecting rookie senators with no background or experience in and woeful lack of knowledge of foreign policy. My vetting process is much more comprehensive than being stirred to support someone by their soaring rhetorical skills. I’ve heard a good many rousing TEA Party speeches by regular folks and politicians alike that rival Cruz’s, but that doesn’t mean these folks should run for president. Barack Obama is proof positive that anyone can indeed become president. He is also proof positive that not just anyone should run for president. I’m not comparing Cruz to Obama but this country will be in shambles when (and if) Obama is done with us. The clean up job is not one to be entrusted to a rookie who hasn’t been tested, has no record of accomplishments, and requires on the job training. Ted Cruz and the other freshman senators need to serve out the terms for which they were elected and develop some real leadership skills other than speechifying and being burrs under the saddles of their colleagues on both sides of the aisles. There comes a time when political smarts trumps rhetoric in winning people to your side. God bless them for being the constitutional pitbulls they are but let’s see what they can do with the time entrusted to them by the voters who put them there.

  4. Rick Santorum was on with Greta van Sustern last week and commented at length about Syria, but there is no link to video or transcript of it. This is a common occurence whenever Santorum is on a Fox news show or does a radio interview. Strangely only HIS segments are nowhere on the podcasts. The Rovian controlled faction of the GOP told Laura Ingraham at a big GOP dinner in February that they had a big problem with these “social conservatives” and were going to “make sure that Rick Santorum never gets on a ballot again.” You can google the podcast for her show to hear her tell Rick Santorum this on the air when she had him on in February. Just know this, the Rove gang wants you to forget that Santorum’s brushfire campaign ever, ever happened and that he has disappeared into thin air. You can keep up with this super busy man via his website http://www.patriotvoices.com and tuning in to hear his radio program the second and fourth Tuesdays each month at noon ET. He has been anything but inactive since he was forced to suspend last year. Check him out too on facebook and twitter. Lots going on with the senator lately. Awesome!

  5. You don’t have to be a logician, to see what’s going on:

    Obama drew a “red line” to attack Syria because he thought it was a given (since English Prime Minister Cameron was all gung-ho to war on Syria on “evidence” that has NEVER been verified that dictator Assad used the chemical weapons … and not the rebels themselves). So, the wannabe US Dictator, Hussein Obama, felt sure his English counterpart was in line. And based his comments on that assurance.

    But then, the imaginable to Obama happened — the British Parliament had the guts to say NO to Lil’ Cameron’s warmongering!

    Thus, Lil’ Hussein found himself in a quandary — he had stated that he believes that he needs NO Congressional authority to attack Syria, but now he was left dry by his schooled British counterpart. And on top of that, polls showed that 90% of Americans don’t want another war started by this administration.

    So what does this US “president” do — who speaks and acts without thinking — but toss his miscalculation to the US Congress and Senate (a desperate move since Lil’ Hussein is now left with no other options).

    Now, his hope is that he, and his pet Kerry, and the rest of the sycophants that surround him, will be able to bully the House into submission…and give him the War he wanted in the first place!

    His attempt to bully both Houses is usage of disturbing videos of horrific images *shown only to a select group of senators in closed-door briefings* — meaning, Lil’ Hussein is gathering the leadership to be on board…and hoping they’ll advise their underlings how to vote!

    How despicable is such abusive propaganda, by what is supposed to be the US President!

    And then, he sicks his pet, Kerry, again, and Senate “Intelligence” Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (another Obama sycophant) to use THE UNVERIFIED chemical attacks by Assad (according to NBC: “NBC News has not been able to independently verify the authenticity of these videos”) as “proof” to START ANOTHER WAR that will bankrupt the USA to the point of no economical recovery possible!

    Read this article by NBC News: “White House showed gruesome videos to senators in case for Syria strike”

    http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/09/07/20377556-white-house-showed-gruesome-videos-to-senators-in-case-for-syria-strike

    When will the American People finally wake up, and demand Obama’s Impeachment — how long must we suffer this Usurper of the White House that lords it over us!

  6. Putin checkmated Obama (and his barking-only dog Kerry)! WOW!!! That was such a simple finesse that any decent Chess Player would have foreseen — but, obviously not the mental defects that are Obama and Kerry.
    ——————————————————————————————–

    How did these two clowns (Obama and Kerry) embarrass our nation, making us the laughing stock of the world? Here is the chronological order of their stupidities:

    Obama draws a “red line” if Chem weapons are used — and states USA will bomb Syria to stop this.

    Chem weapons are used — Obama declares (without positive proof that it was Assad, and not the terrorists themselves), along with British Prime Minister Cameron’s acceding, that the World’s Opinion must be respected and the USA will start bombing Syria along with the “International Community”….

    Cameron is ready to bomb along with Obama, but then British Parliament says NO!

    Now Obama is IN SHOCK, and on his own — he still pushes for bombing Syria — but is afraid to do it on his own volition (for the obvious political backlash)! So, NOW Obama (who had previously declared that he does not need Congressional approval to start a ‘limited’ War) NOW BACKPEDALS AND asks Congress to approve his war desires, and sends Kerry to Europe to muster some support for his Bombing Syria right away!

    Kerry arrives and makes a fool of himself in France — when asked: “What would stop the US from bombing Syria” he answers: “Assad must turn over all his Chem Weapons”.

    The Russians pounce on it immediately and state they will assure this!

    Then, poor idiot Kerry says it was a “rhetorical answer” and not one he, and Obama, were willing to accept.

    Too late — Obama’s rep, Kerry-the-idiot, opened his mouth and played right into Putin’s hands.

    Now, Putin (the swine) won and Kerry and Obama look like the village idiots that they are!

    Obama, and his toothless barking dog Kerry, have achieved what no other Administration since Jimmy Carter has done — make US look weak and STUPID!

    p.s. forgot to add —

    Impeach Obama, and put Kerry next to Lil’ Hussein’s prison cell…so the two can play the simple game of Chinese Checkers… with each other…..

  7. Politicians say many things, but it is the most important, how they vote and he has already voted two times in good way. Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, if they would be together as presidential candidate and his VP, it could be something good for country and for the world.

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