Obama On Syria: "Folks Here In Washington Like To Grade On Style"


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Corker, Foreign Relations Committee, said– you’re not comfortable as Commander-In-Chief, it’s like watching a person who’s caged. The president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haas, “Words like ad-hoc, improvised, unsteady come to mind. This is probably the most undisciplined stretch of foreign policy in your presidency.” What do you make of that?

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well– you know, I– I– I think that– folks here in Washington– like to grade on style. And so had we rolled out something that was very smooth and disciplined and– linear– they would have graded it well, even if it was a disastrous policy. We know that, ’cause that’s exactly how they graded the Iraq– War– until it ended up–

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So this doesn’t change your view–

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: –blowing in our face.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: No– no. What it– what it– what it says is that I’m less concerned about– style points, I’m much more concerned about getting the policy right. And– what I’ve said consistently throughout is that– the chemical weapons issue is a problem. I want that problem dealt with. And as a consequence of the steps that we’ve taken over the last two weeks to three weeks, we now have a situation in which Syria has acknowledged it has chemical weapons, has said it’s willing to join the convention on chemical weapons, and Russia, its primary sponsor, has– said that it will pressure Syria to reach that agreement. That’s my goal. And if that goal– is achieved, then– it sounds to me like we did something right.

Show commentsHide Comments

Latest Political Videos

Video Archives