Rep. Sanford won't support US strike in Syria

zmurdock@beaufortgazette.comSeptember 3, 2013 

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford doesn't agree with the president's plan to intervene in the civil war in Syria.

The Republican representative for South Carolina's 1st Congressional District, which includes Beaufort County, said at his "Open Door After 4" event Tuesday in Beaufort that he won't support any military action in the Middle Eastern country.

Sanford conducted the event to allow private, five-minute conversations with constituents, and Syria was on many of the visitors' minds, he said.

"It's absolutely a hot-button issue around the southern end of the district," Sanford said. "It's been overwhelmingly a point of conversation and concern.

"What I'm hearing from people is: There's genuine fatigue with regard to military and financial engagement in the Middle East."

The Obama administration hasn't answered questions about the United States' tactical interest, its goal and its exit strategy, he said.

"You have to ask yourself, 'What exactly is it about?' And I don't think that's clear, which is why I'm a no vote."

Sanford acknowledged his stance puts him at odds with some in the Republican leadership: Speaker of the House John Boehner of Ohio and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia on Tuesday endorsed President Barack Obama's call for military action.

Although at odds with the president over the need for military action in Syria, he applauded the president for pausing to let lawmakers weigh in. A military strike in Syria seemed all but certain until Obama reversed course and said he would delay action until Congress had a chance to vote.

A vote is expected soon after Congress returns Sept. 9 from a recess.


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Follow reporter Zach Murdock at twitter.com/IPBG_Zach.

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