GOP congressman invited to WH after first being ignored
September 9th, 2013
08:23 PM ET
12 months ago

GOP congressman invited to WH after first being ignored

Washington (CNN) - A Republican congressman, whose offer to help the president on Syria was ignored last week, said he met with the White House chief of staff on Monday.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois met with Denis McDonough one day after he said in a TV interview that the White House did not reach out to him when he proposed helping them gather votes of support for the president’s Syria proposal.

CNN reported Sunday that the White House called Kinzinger, an Iraq war veteran, after his interview.

For the White House meeting, Kinzinger was with a small group of other House GOP members, including New York Rep. Peter King and Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton, who have voiced support for a resolution for targeted military strikes.

"We made the point very strong that you can’t build bridges with members of Congress the second you need them. It should have been done years ago. Democrats will repeat the same thing," Kinzinger told CNN on Monday.

Kinzinger said the group discussed the president’s scheduled speech to the American public on Tuesday. He suggested Obama needs to show he's decisive and the administration needs to stop sending mixed messages.

"Kerry saying 'unbelievably small' strike was devastating," Kinzinger said, referring to the way Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday described potential U.S. action in Syria.

The Illinois Republican said the latest proposal floated by Russia to urge Syria to turn over its chemical weapons was an important development, but shouldn’t delay a vote on Capitol Hill.

"It’s not a huge sigh of relief yet, but I'm willing to take a look at it. But I think the threat of force could have driven this to the table. I think we'd have an even more credible threat if we can pass this resolution out of the House," Kinzinger.

Kinzinger said the number of House Republicans now backing the president on Syria "could fit in a school bus, and probably have a lot of room, which is sad. The president's got a lot of work to do."


Filed under: Denis McDonough • Syria • White House
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. ghost

    If the House goes against the POTUS they will take the blame for everything up to and beyond this point. The GOP is in a catch 22. If they go with the POTUS, then they share in what happens. If they go against him, they assume all of the blame. Stop with the politics and start doing your jobs. CLINTON 2016

    September 9, 2013 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  2. Prediction

    "... you can’t build bridges with members of Congress the second you need them.". he said.
    A Republican congressman, whose offer to help the president on Syria was ignored last week, said he.
    Is he an idiot?

    September 9, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  3. 1twinsfan

    The Congressman wasn't ignored. He just hadn't been gotten back to yet. It's not like Pres. Obama is sitting by the phone hoping that cute Rep. Adam calls him.

    September 9, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  4. Evergreen

    The President has spent the past week trying to get international support. I doubt he deliberately snubbed this congressman.

    September 10, 2013 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  5. randallhurd2013

    It doesn't matter at what level of office your in, it takes months to build a working relationship. He avoided them to keep from mingling with the marshmallows, I got some information that not only did he avoid the but also missed 58% of his national security briefs. After all, if he had a working relationship with the,, he'd have to appoint members to work with senate and Congress which would mean his lack of focus would go up. With as much of his Do nothing ethics and safe because of the Marshmallow Congress that's getting voted out next term, he'd have to actually do some work.

    September 10, 2013 05:51 am at 5:51 am |