Kerry signals Obama Oval Office address on Syria
September 4th, 2013
06:35 PM ET
7 months ago

Kerry signals Obama Oval Office address on Syria

(CNN) – Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday he has "no doubt" President Barack Obama will soon make a speech on Syria from the Oval Office.

Kerry's comment came at the end of a four-hour congressional hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where he faced questions on the president's proposal to take military action in Syria.

Many members of Congress have been calling on Obama to make his case directly to the American public–in addition to Congress–as he seeks congressional authorization to launch limited strikes in the war-torn country.

Kerry's answer Wednesday came in response to a question by Rep. Luke Messer, R-Indiana, who said he would support the mission.

"I think we've got a lot of work to do to help the American people understand why the risks of action are less than the risks of inaction," Messer said. "What more can be done to further communicate with the American people? For example, will the president make a speech from the Oval Office to the American people in one of the coming evenings?"

"I have no doubt the president will," Kerry replied.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for confirmation of Kerry's comment.

UPDATE: Caitlin Hayden, National Security Council spokesperson, sent CNN the following statement: "The President will continue to make the case to the Congress and the country on the need for Congress to act, but we have no specific plans to announce at this time."

– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: John Kerry • President Obama • Syria
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Robert Kunz

    OK, so 17 U S Senators, the incredibly small number of 17 people, the ones in that committee that just "approved" Obama's war plans, they have marched us on the first step for 300,000,000 Americans to be involved in yet ANOTHER war. Oh wait, next week the WHOLE Senate is going to undertake debating this war fever matter. So then, it will be 100 Senators, the likes of Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, Tea Party Ted Cruz and a few other nutty characters (thank God, it could have included Sarah Palin, who, is still unsure just where lies Russia), all these people that very few of we Americans connect with, care for nor respect. THEY are going to determine whether or not Obama has Congressional approval to make war. Bear in mind, about 50% of them HATE Obama and will lead him wrong if they can get away with it. Well, small favors from the Almighty – Gingrich isn't involved, with his "Colony on the Moon" scrambled thinking.

    September 4, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  2. Thomas

    I hope we are not pulled into this conflict and I hope there will be a peaceful resolve .

    Yet we can't let a dictator get away with murder , nor can we let crazy fanatics eat the heart of there brother .

    It's time to stop this madness that plaques humanity .

    September 4, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  3. Alex

    I can not afford to bring my folks from Israel to here,please do not start a war.

    September 4, 2013 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  4. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Anyone who doesn't vote for this will have blood on their hands after the next gas attack, that's you teaparty . South Carolina teaparty hicks need to get voted out in 2014!!!! Donnelan , that would be you.

    September 4, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  5. just asking

    can opponents of this obama fiasco in progress get equal time from the networks to tell truth to the american people after obama spews his lies??? or are the networks going to be the usual obama propagandists? selling all of his lies as truth while ignoring any real reporting of alternative points of view.

    wake up america. wake up and listen to the truth. and the truth is that obama is using our military to save face, not because this is in any way in our national interest. it is up to all of the signers of the geneva conventions to belly up to the bar and enforce the treat they all signed. the usa is just one of those countries and it is not solely our job to enforce every international treaty.

    obama stood around and did nothing for two years while over 100,000 people died and millions have left for refugee camps. he has let it metastacize into a nightmare scenario and missed the window of opportunity to have any positive affect. this mess is the result of obama's lead from behind strategy. the reality is that obama has been lead around by the nose by events. some leader.

    September 5, 2013 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  6. Guest

    Why all this talk Mr.President? You have already stated you have the power to act. If you truly believe it is in our nations best interest to act, why have you not acted? Why have you telegraphed this military strike so much? Does Obama take Assad for a dummy? Our $1,500,000 cruise missiles will be hitting empty buildings or worse, buildings that Assad has placed women and children into. At this point I would say Assad is playing Obama like a fiddle and making him look like an inept, dithering idiot. Not a good place for the supposed leader of the world's only super power.

    September 5, 2013 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  7. Minne Mouse

    There are people that are in America that are doing things wrong all the time, in which leads to the deaths of innocent people or themselves. Gun killings, terrorists acts, holding people hostage against their will for decades ect......crimes that are so terrible that as a country we shouldn't care if the person or people responsible lives or dies. Instead as a country, the person who commits these act always gets to survive, keep a roof of his or her head, eat ect...when they don't even deserve to live. Maybe as a country we should drop a bomb on them and give them the death penalty, immediately!

    Why should our country be so concerned about Syria, when there are so many problems in our own country to where justice is not even served.

    It is wrong to be gassing any people with chemical weapons, regardless if they are men, women or children and if all of them at one time. Where did it ever say in Congress that military force is required if chemical weapons or used, after crossing the redline. Everyone agrees that it's wrong and you don't have to be in congress to know that. It's not our problem. If it was real threat, don't you think other countries would feel the same way and want to drop a bomb on them to and would be asking to start military action. They are not, because it's 100% not necessary for us to intervene into another country. It would be different if they struck America but they have not touched our country!!

    All of the crimes in our country that are happening, day in and day out with gun violence are not getting any attention. The schools need year round need security, real security guards. Instead your giving the Ok for the teachers to carry weapons.That is ridiculous. The money is available to protect our schools but as a government you don't want to do something to make sure that it happens. The children's grades are all falling behind because of all of the violence. What child wouldn't be scared and let alone what parent would not be fearing for his or her own child. We deserve a lot better for our country and we are not getting. Syria does not need the attention or the extra help, it belongs to the American people.

    We need to stay out of Syria and take care of right here in America, because there are plenty of problems that our country could be using the money and time on. Bombing another country and putting all of them at risk and the risks of all of our men and women in the military. Everyone is going to have to pay the price of a war, the people who lose loved ones, a debt that is never going to get paid off and it will be passed on to all of our children and grandchildren.

    It is not worth it, at all!

    September 5, 2013 07:00 am at 7:00 am |