Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.) said President Obama's seeking of Republican support to take military action in Syria marked the first time he'd reached out to the GOP in the two-and-a-half years he'd served in the U.S. Congress.
"I mean, we may have had a big meeting or something but typically he's never talked to us," he said. "Now what you're seeing is a lack of belief that this president has a plan."
During an interview Friday on MSNBC's The Daily Rundown, Kinzinger continued to criticize Obama's leadership on the issue and implored him to sell it to the American people and lay out exactly what he plans to accomplish. Obama said at a press conference Friday morning that he will address Americans directly on Tuesday:
LUKE RUSSERT: Question for you. Some of the latest informal whip counts place support for any type of action in Syria from the Republican side as maybe getting 50 or 70 votes from your conference. Do you think this is a new GOP that's more libertarian and isolationist in nature, or is this straight-up opposition to President Obama and anything he supports?
KINZINGER: I don't think it's either of that. We obviously have a group in the Republicans — you see them on the news all the time that are talking about the United States needing to disengage from the rest of the world. But the vast majority of Republicans still understand the need for a strong United States. What's happened here though, this is actually the first time, literally in five years, at least the 2 1/2 years I've been in Congress, when the president's actually reached out to the Republicans on anything. I mean, we may have had a big meeting or something but typically he's never talked to us. Now what you're seeing is a lack of belief that this president has a plan. Look, I'm supportive of action in Syria. I think it has to be done. I think for decades America's put down a red line saying no chemical weapons. But I will put a lot of the struggle right now in Washington on the President of the United States. He needs to be all over television selling this to the American people. Any beginning of any military action has never been popular in the United States of America, until its leaders come forward and talk about what exactly they want to accomplish there. Secretary Kerry's done a great job. President Obama really hasn't.
Kinzinger laid out his case for taking action in Syria at Wednesday's House Foreign Affairs Committee.