Corker skeptical of Kerry-Lavrov agreement
September 14th, 2013
02:33 PM ET
7 months ago

Corker skeptical of Kerry-Lavrov agreement

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, after lambasting President Obama's handling of the Syria situation, now says the proposed solution to the crisis remains "very much an open question."

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, weighed in on the agreement brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday morning, questioning how enforceable the proposed plan is and whether it signals a diplomatic retreat for the United States.


While saying he remains "supportive of a strong diplomatic solution," the Senate Foreign Relations Committee member expressed doubts that the Bashar al-Assad regime would - or even could - hold to the terms of the announced agreement. The Kerry-Lavrov agreement does not rule out the use of force, but the pact doesn’t specify that force will be the remedy for noncompliance. If Syria fails to meet the terms of the accord, the United States and others would have to go to the United Nations Security Council – a venue where Russia holds and has proven unafraid to use its veto authority – to debate how to respond.

"Absent the threat of force, it's unclear to me how Syrian compliance will be possible," Corker said.

Corker, who has worked with the Obama administration throughout the Syria morass and co-wrote the revised authorization that passed through his committee, continued assailing the president's leadership.

"The administration's handling of this crisis has hurt U.S. credibility," Corker said in a statement to CNN.

He told CNN's Dana Bash on Thursday that President Obama seemed uncomfortable speaking to the nation as a commander in chief and had utterly failed to make the case to the American people that action in Syria was necessary and essential to U.S. national interests.

Corker said he will continue to review the details but worries the agreement will impugn the administration's credibility in addressing future threats, including countering "threats from Iran and other rogue nations."


Filed under: Bob Corker • John Kerry • Obama administration • President Obama • Russia • Syria
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    I am sure they guy is not happy that peace can be achieved through negotiation

    September 14, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. Tony in Maine

    because if the Kerry/Lavrov agreement were to work, it might reflect well on President Obama and we can't have that, can we.

    Corker is everything that is wrong with the Republican Party.

    September 14, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. Woman In California

    Corker the same little man who disrespected the POTUS? That Corker? There's no need for him to say anything else after that display, because now, he'll always be remembered (just like Rep. Wilson), as a low class, uncontrollable white senator with some deep, resentful feelings against any person of color not wearing a scarf on their heads or shining his shoes. Another republican history maker.

    September 14, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  4. Winston Smith

    Bet if had been a republican, making the deal he'd be sounding off like the second coming had happened. Hypocrite.

    September 14, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Yes, it is good to see someone like Corker put his own personal agenda ahead of our country. First he wants to bomb, then he doesn't want to bomb, then he trusts Putin more than Obama, and now he doesn't trust either Russia or the United States because the agreement was not obtained by military force.

    September 14, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Hey GOP idiot,your not the president but you are a GOP idiot!!!!

    September 14, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. Phyllis Gwendoline Williams

    Everyone should Thank God for opening up a bloodless agreement, and, if you mean well,strengthening it instead of questioning it.

    September 14, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    All these GOP idiots from congress should just go in the corner and shut up!!!!! The GOP congress is the most incompetent ever elected and it doesn't say much for the idiots who vote for these incompetent fools!!!!!

    September 14, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Gary

    Whats up with Tennesee? Between Dianne Black and Corker, they are looking like a bunch of fools.

    September 14, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    This guy has 0 foreign policy experience, kind of like Romney speaking with his foot in his mouth before he knows the facts. Both GOP idiots!!!!

    September 14, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    This guy is talking with his foot in his mouth just like the loser Romney before he has any knowledge of the details just to bash Obama befor a victory of sorts can be claimed. But what else would you expect from the brain dead GOP morons????

    September 14, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. Wisemann

    In terms of public opinion, bombing a sovereign nation on fake excuses is obviously not popular and in fact evoked very negative reaction even among traditional allies like UK who were fools enough to bloody their hands in Iraq. Clearly, the Brits have learned their lesson. Poor Obama should first try and gain some popularity with his own congress before he can hope for any PR successes elsewhere in the world. If it comes to the vote, Congress will turn it down, as expected.

    September 14, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  13. Thomas

    "Absent the threat of force, it's unclear to me how Syrian compliance will be possible," Corker said.

    Then give him the power to use force if necessary !

    September 14, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. rs

    Let's be honest folks, Jesus himself could have brokered the deal, and the GOP would be crabby. But hey, more proof it isn't the quality of the fix, it is who put it forward. Just more anti-adminsitration whining by the party of no meaning.

    September 14, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  15. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Sounds like a case of Romney foot in mouth disease to me, taking before you have the facts sir??????

    September 14, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  16. Ron L

    SO WHAT!! Every time some one has an opinion does not make it newsworthy!! Here's what CNN needs to talk about almost exclusively..... Lets call it the WHATS AMERICA GOING TO DO LIST...
    1) What is America going to do about the minimum wage that is 20% lower than the minimum wage of 30 years ago?
    2) What is America going to do about college tuition that is rising 7 to 10% a year when inflation is rising only 2%?
    3) What is America going to do about the crumbling infrastructure that is 50 to 100 years old?
    4) What is America going to do about the unreasonable cost of health care services?
    5) What is America going to do about the CEO of a company making $40 million a year when it's worker make $8.00
    an hour and have difficulty in being scheduled 40 hours a week?
    6) What is America going to do about that same CEO having so many loop holes in the tax code that he pays a lower
    percentage of taxes than an American making $60,000 a year?
    7) What is America going to do about the influx of money that is skewing our political process?
    8) What is America going to do the help the so called AMERICAN DREAM become available for most of us, like it was
    25 years ago, instead of just a very, very, few like today?
    I am 58 years old and our country is in REAL TROUBLE because the very things that made us "exceptional" are dissipating into nothingness. Our NEWS MEDIA is failing us because they are more interested in what a politician "thinks or says" instead of what they "accomplish". It is heartbreaking because so few of us realize it is happening.
    In closing I would like to say I have been in a union and I have had to fight with unions when I was in management. Here are the facts, as union membership went down two things happened: average American wages went flat and CEO pay went up 10 to 20% per year. There is strength in numbers and it is the ONLY THING large corporations respect and FEAR!!!

    September 14, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  17. Evergreen

    Regardless of what this Administration does it never seems to be enough. Last week the concern was a possible WW3. Today we have stepped away from the brink an still they criticize.

    September 14, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  18. king

    these repubs can never satisfy with nothing this president does, it doesn't matter if its the greatest thing in the world, which some could say is happening right now as Syria tries to get rid of their chemical weapons. hey isn't this the guy that was planning on voting against an Obama strike on Syria. i just dont understand what does these backward repubs expect the president to do. they were about to vote against a strike, now they dont want him to broker a diplomatic process of getting rid of Syria weapons, hey i dont know about you but i am confuse as hell on what the repubs want this president to do.

    September 14, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  19. Dee

    Corker seated on the National Security Committee should no better than to be critical of the President and Kerry during this conflict and while he is on foreign soil. This is not acceptable for an elected official he should be reprimanded they have no respect for the President, the Office of the President or its Administration.

    September 14, 2013 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  20. chrissy

    Corker needs to back up and regroup! Obama has done exactly what he should've done! If he would have arbitrarily made the decision to go after Syria WITHOUT the approval of Congress they would have had his head on a platter. But as most of us have observed since Obama was elected anything he does, no matter how big or how small, they have found a reason to bash him.

    September 14, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  21. S. B. Stein

    It is a start but not the end of the discussion. We need to have mercenaries keep track of the vehicles going out of the country. I suspect that many of the chemical weapons are from Iraq so that the former dictator wouldn't get caught with them. It might going the other way now.

    September 14, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  22. Michael Benjamin

    Threats are meaningless, actions speak louder than words.

    September 15, 2013 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  23. J.V.Hodgson

    Gosh Mr Corker as na electe official of the people of the US are listening?
    1) By a huge margin THE US PEOPLE dis not want a military intervention
    2) The only vote was on a Senate committee which went 11-7 one present latter a democrat who later is clearly against.
    3) Reid based on both Senate Dems and Republicans believes he cannot get the majority for a war declaration = nothing to do with the presidents war powers act that was off the table
    4) no single organization republican or democratic believed the resolution from Obama or the senate amended version would pass either house of congress .
    Senator Corker from what I have read of the " diplomatic deal" Assad has agreed to disclose the location of all chemical weapons and to sign the Chemicals weapons international accord, or risk art 7.
    If, if all that goes sour I believe Obama can and will exercise his war powers act ability to strike at Syria more accurately and in amore devastating fashion
    I also believe it says to Iran on nuclear we can be negotiated with.... so lets do it =diplomacy not nuclear disaster.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    September 15, 2013 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  24. Name Uche Agonsi

    If these Repub morons think diplomacy hurts US credibility, why dont they shut down the UN. Obviously there seem to be no way out of the Repubs vacillating views on the Syria issue or anything else. They dont want war, they oppose striking the Syrians, and now this....... opposing diplomacy. What on earth do they agree on.

    September 15, 2013 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  25. Debbie in Arizona

    This is not news. If he had agreed with the President, now that would be news. The people of our country have come to expect nothing less, and, sadly, nothing more, from the Republicans.

    September 15, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |