Mitch McConnell: Want My Syria Position? Wait Till Next Week

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/8567879140/sizes/m/in/photolist-e47BY9-dCrDwN-dCtLqK-dCzcvf-71C33c-7Gei5H-6ptYBN-8TTXLg-81Cx4n-cE7HVd-cE7J51-82ZqwX-82ZpbP-82Zrii-7TKNP1-6pFjZj-cE7KbA-cE7JZL-cE7L6f-cE7Ji3-cE7Kkm-cE7KWq-cE7Lew-e41YUR-e47zLY-e47BEd-e41YKt-e47APW-e47BPA-e47Ag3-e47Bvw-e47zrL-e47z3j-e41Ygk-e47AZQ-e47zd7-e41Wmc-e47zjG-e47A67-e47zAG-e47zX1-e47Ax5-77yJbL-6anwzb/">Photographer</a>/Flickr

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


At an appearance Friday at the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) spoke about the Syrian civil war and the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons on the Syrian people.

McConnell did not take a position on whether the US military should bomb Syria in response to the chemical weapons attacks. “This is a tough call. I think there are good arguments on both sides,” he said. The Kentucky senator told the audience he would announce his position on whether to bomb Syria next week.

McConnell did, however, delve a bit deeper into his views on the chemical weapons attack. “Use of chemical weapons against anybody, particularly against your own people, has been viewed for decades as simply unacceptable,” he said. That view is awfully close to President Obama’s position that the use of chemical weapons crosses a “red line” widely acknowledged by the international community.

In 2012, Obama said that “a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus.” Earlier this week, Obama hedged that by saying, “I didn’t set a red line; the world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world’s population said the use of chemical weapons are abhorrent and passed a treaty forbidding their use even when countries are engaged in war.”

What McConnell said at the Northern Kentucky Chamber is a boiled-down version of that statement. It remains a mystery whether McConnell will back strikes in Syria—and risk further inflaming his already hostile conservative base—or cast his lot with fellow Kentucky senator Rand Paul and oppose the strikes. We’ll have to wait until next week to find out.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate