Nightly News   |  September 04, 2013

Pressure mounts as Obama tries to gather support for strikes

President Obama said the Syrian government crossed the world’s red line and now some believe he should take his case directly to the American people. NBC’s Chuck Todd reports.

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>>> while critics tend to be more vocal than supporters in this, and we just saw some of that, all of this is adding pressure on the president to take his case directly to the american people , even as he takes the case to the world stage. tonight he's in sweden where he said today it wasn't just him drawing this so-called red line on chemical weapons . our chief white house correspondent chuck todd traveling with the president tonight. chuck, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian. well, the pressure on the president to speak publicly in some sort of official form primetime address, oval office style address to the nation, the pressure is coming from democrats, from republicans, from leadership on the hill, from outside supporters of the president. all of them saying if you want congress to do this, you've seen the polls, mr. president. you're going to have to make this case yourself. if anything simply to give political cover to a bunch of house democrats. a lot of them got elected on being anti-war, anti-iraq, and if they are going to do this for the president, they want the cover from him explaining it to the american people , and one of those explanations has to do, of course, with this red line , and today here in sweden the president redefined what he meant by his red line . take a listen.

>> i didn't set a red line . the world set a red line . the world set a red line when governments representing 98% 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. congress set a red line when it ratified that treaty.

>> reporter: the president is making the case that this is everybody's problem on capitol hill , everybody's problem in the world community , and, brian, tomorrow, the president leaves for russia where he's going to come face-to-face, if only briefly, with the one man that has stood in the way of international cooperation on this, vladamir putin .

>> all right. chuck todd with the president tonight in stockholm, chuck, thanks.