Meet the Press   |  September 08, 2013

Sanchez: 'It's about national security'

Rep. Loretta Sanchez expresses hesitance to get on board with the Obama administration's proposal for intervention in Syria, and other lawmakers weigh in.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> the vote were held today, congresswoman sanchez, i'll start with you, are you a yes, no or maybe? we'll get into the whys in just a second. you first.

>> i'm a leaning no. it's about national security .

>> okay. and congressman mccaul, yes? no? maybe?

>> as it stands today, i cannot support the president's plan. i think it's irresponsible.

>> all right. and congressman king.

>> i would vote yes in spite of the president's conduct.

>> all right. so let me come back, then, to congresswoman sanchez. you heard denis mcdonough . he said two things. limited air strikes , the victory, in his mind, in this campaign, is degrading assad's ability ever to use chemical weapons again. and it is not a long-term military involvement. why are you not persuaded that that's worth doing and achievable?

>> well, first of all, it is about national security . and i haven't heard any of our interests -- i haven't heard that assad wants to use weapons against us. i haven't heard that he wants to use weapons against our allies, that he's moving them to terrorist organizations. so i'm asking, where is the national security issue? and make no mistake about it. the minute that one of those cruise missiles lands in there, we are in the syrian war . it's a civil war . and we're taking sides with the rebels, many of whom are still associated with al qaeda or other groups that mean to underminus. so for the president to say this is just, you know, a very quick thing and we're out of there, that's how long wars start.

>> congressman king, answer that concern.

>> first of all, i share some of those concerns. i do believe, though, that there is a real axis between syria and iran , that for syria to be allowed to use chemical weapons , to continue to have chemical weapons , at the same time we're issuing a red line to iran , with nuclear weapons , that makes iran and syria an axis for dominance in the middle east and endangers jordan and israel and that necessarily endangers our national security . i just wish the president had laid this out better. i wish he'd quit backing away from his own red line and i wish he was more of a commander in chief than a community organizer .

>> well, what is it -- why do you say that? i mean, that's like a campaign line. what does that mean, more commander in chief than community organizer ?

>> what i mean by that is, he was commander in chief. for one year he said this red line was there. and then the red line is crossed. and he sends kerry and hagel out, all set to basically have an attack. we're told that congress is not needed. at the 11th hour he brings in congress. and then he says it's not his red line . here's a person who's vacillating. i can't imagine truman or kennedy or reagan or eisenhower ever putting the nation in a position like this on military policy.