Bachmann says Obama is leading from behind on Syria
August 18th, 2011
02:13 PM ET
11 years ago

Bachmann says Obama is leading from behind on Syria

Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said the president's call for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to step down is another example of Barack Obama leading from behind on foreign policy.

Following a rally in downtown Columbia, the Minnesota congresswoman read a prepared statement to reporters that said in part, "The president should have acted weeks ago to call on President Assad to step down when his regime started slaughtering and oppressing his own Syrian people. By this count now it's thousands of Syrians."

Read what Texas Gov. Rick Perry said here.

Read what former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said here.

U.S. authorities resisted calling explicitly for Assad to step down from power until Thursday. The public statements from Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were closely coordinated with European, Turkish and Arab allies, significantly ratcheting up international pressure against a regime that has been criticized for its harsh crackdown against anti-government protesters in recent months.

Bachmann urged the president to stand up for the region's U.S. ally Israel by taking the lead against the brutal regime.

"The president has taken his eye off of Syria and Iran, which unfortunately has strengthened their adventurism," she said. "I strongly condemn Syrian President Assad's brutal use of force against his own people and I urge President Assad to step down immediately."

The presidential candidate also called on President Obama to expel the Syrian ambassador from the United States and withdraw the U.S. ambassador to Syria.

Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann • President Obama • Syria
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Dan

    Sorry Michelle, again you miss the point. This President does not act alone like the former one. This President works in coordination with European, Turkish and even Arab allies and also the UN. Leading from behind close doors brought us nowhere, actually brought us un unwanted war. Have you been aware of this. You need to pay close attention to what hapens around the world.

    August 18, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. GOP hates Middle Class

    There goes the socialist queen again. Damn the idea of having a coalition, the US is the world's police force.
    So about that $2 gas - would the government be in charge of squashing the capitalistic free market? Details Michele.
    Holding out on sharing some good intel on getting gas lower is treason according to Slick

    August 18, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Bill

    My nineteen year old daughter has more foreign policy experience than this nutcase. Go eat another corndog Michelle.

    August 18, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. vet in texas

    Funny, she's been running for 90 days at least and she herself is JUST NOW calling for Assad to step down........
    Regarding Iran, all W did is call them evil and slap sanctions on them while they STILL tested their weapons, she's better off explaining how she can get the ecomony turned around her first 3 months of office and how she can get gas down to $ anyone can believe in her enough to give money amazes me, she is a fraud who has no real stance on anything other than the points that Palin had written on her hand. As a matter of fact, that must be the republican campaign platform because all of them are saying what Sarah had written on her hand and all of them since Reagan are saying the same points Palin had written on her hand?

    How come I'm the only one who sees this pattern?
    Here is a question:

    If any of the GOP candidates get elected, how will corporations automatically start hiring without anyone to buy their services or products? domestic drilling and even lower taxes than the 17-18% they pay? I doubt it and so should America!

    August 18, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. John, Fort Collins, CO

    I doubt Michele Bachmann can even locate Syria on a map of the world. I prefer leaving the U.S. position on Syria and Mr. Assad in the hands of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Besides, Ms. Bachmann already has her hands full figuring out how to get our gas prices down to two bucks a gallon.

    August 18, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. V in Chicago

    Again, someone who is NOT in the know about what is going on making statements without all the facts. If you do not sit in the Presidential Briefings, then you should not be making comments like this. She has no idea what the President has been told or briefed on, so she is unqualified to make any remarks on his actions. If the President had said or done something earlier, you can bet your sweet a$$ she would be complaining about that as well. If the President says "Up" people like her will say "Down", even if it takes them straight to Hell! God help us all if this moron ever gets near the WhiteHouse.

    August 18, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Isn't this the same person who claimed during the recent GOP/FNC debate that she can reduce unemployment to 4% in just a mere 3 months? (Santorum actually agreed to the same claim!)

    Is this the same person who claimed that she can bring back $2/gallon prices at the pump? (That would take a whole lot of oil company subsidies. A whole LOT.)

    Isn't this the same person who just celebrated Elvis' "birthing" into heaven? (What's wrong with celebrating his entrance into heaven as a type of birthday, anyway?)

    Isn't the same person who claims she doesn't need a teleprompter? (Is this why they give her script and have her memorize it? I wonder how they make sure she doesn't deviate?)

    Michelle, if headaches are bothering, please take time to rest. Life is too short, and many people find you to be too precious. Not me, but some do.

    August 18, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. Tony Z

    If he takes action the Republicans complain. If he lets the World take the lead the Republicans complain. Did she miss the part about coordinated effort. The US no longer needs to run out front, but build strong coalitions that stand against injustice. Next she will be saying we need to use brute force to remove him.

    August 18, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. The Other Michael in Houston

    Yeah right Bachmann, so you can go on Fox tommorow and critique him for using a military to remove a regime as you did when he decided to drop a few missles on Libya. Maybe you and Rick perry ought to get together and pray Assad out of office, you facisit homphob moron!

    August 18, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. MTATL67

    Oh my GOD. Is she dumb or just a moron. I don't know what the heck she was doing a couple of weeks ago but we all know that the President was working and fighting with Congress and it's fiscal terrorist controlled GOP leadership on the debt ceiling. You darn well this extremist would have said the President needs to be focusing on the debt ceiling not on his Midwest policy. Hey, she wished Elvis Presley a happy birthday you know that is something she would say. I bet you it costs her Tennessee.

    August 18, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. one voice

    Typical GOP/TEABAGGER CLOWN plaiyng both sides of the argument. Yell if He does nothing or yell if He would ever bomb and invade.

    August 18, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. Mike D

    I guess the gears are shifting to Syria now that it looks like Qaddafi is looking for a way our of Libya. Gotta stay ahead of those wins.

    August 18, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    uh weeks ago you and your Tea Party dolts had this country tied up in a debt ceiling battle that really didn't have to happen. Now if President Obama had of veered away from the debt debacle and made a stance on Syria, you and your GOP cronies would have been critcal again saying that is trying to change the focus off our own problems. Tell you what Ms. Bachmann you work on getting us that 2 dollar a gallon gasoline and learning the difference between when Elvis was born and when he died then perhaps I might take you more seriously.

    August 18, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. Shirley In California

    To Elephant In The Room. Welcome back. I missed your well written opinions.

    August 18, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  15. one voice

    The I.Q. of the people in the crowd is the same as their shoe size.

    August 18, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  16. TheTraveler

    "The president has taken his eye off of Syria and Iran, which unfortunately has strengthened their adventurism," she said. "I strongly condemn Syrian President Assad's brutal use of force against his own people and I urge President Assad to step down immediately."

    Give it up Michelle. Your grasp of Foreign Policy is as pathetic as your knowledge of economics.

    August 18, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. J.Crobuzon

    She also said that if he'd called for Azhat to step down weeks ago, she would have criticized Obama for acting like a president. Then she asked reporters if this dress made her look too crazy.

    August 18, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  18. MtnJim

    “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”–Nelson Mandela

    August 18, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    These guys are hilarious. Obama says nothing, then he should have said something. Obama says something right away, then he's jumping the gun and he should have waited and been more thoughtful. Obama waits and coordinates international consensus and support with our allies before saying something, then he should have said something sooner and is "leading from behind."

    So here we have the third situation...careful coordination with international allies and waiting to make a statement until we've aligned our coalition, and as a result, the knee-jerk autonomic criticism reflex takes the form of saying that Obama "waited too long" and "is leading from behind." Meanwhile, not a single GOP candidate for POTUS, especially the ones who have come out saying this, despite having all sorts of media attention and opportunities to make public statements that get widespread free repetition in the press...not one of them has said a single thing about Syria before now and thereby shown through their ACTIONS that they are acting or would have acted any different than Obama has. Their criticisms, therefore, are equally applicable to themselves and ring as hollow as Bachman's head.

    August 18, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  20. CCMars

    I don't trust Bachmann enough to think she noticed Syria and their problems before this. I'll even go so far as to say that even if she had, I doubt she would have cared if it didn't give her an excuse to criticize the President.

    "Leading from behind" seems to be the buzzword of the moment. But is that really a bad thing in cases like these? Remember the last time we went in guns blazing? The term, "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far" comes to mind. Besides, just because someone isn't loud doesn't mean they're sleeping with both eyes closed.

    August 18, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  21. Texas Doc

    Yeah, because she has so much international experience and stuff.

    August 18, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  22. Corey, Maryland

    I'm so glad Bachmann and Perry and all the other GOP candidates are able to attack the President down on an issue that they have really been covering/following themselves so closely.... Give me a break... None of those worthless republicans have even heard of Syria until today when their "handlers" shoved them in front of a microphone and told them to talk about it..... They are all so pitiful!!!!

    Obama '12!!!!

    August 18, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  23. cindy

    Yadayadayada. I believe we were having a problem on the home front a couple weeks ago with debt ceiling and stock market drop. Where was she? Lying or making up her own facts to get votes.....her version of camaigning instead of doing her job as an elected official. Some things are just more important than America huh?

    August 18, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. thomas

    All she dose is criticize from a thrown of reactionary denial !

    She's NUTS !

    August 18, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Americans want President Obama leading behind regarding Syria, we don't want the actions of another Bush to take place. Furthermore, if the President did anything different the Republicans would find fault with that, hypocrits. I guess Bachmann decided she would beat McCain to the punch. Bachmann has just proven she is unfit to be President.

    August 18, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
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