Following President Barack Obama’s Syria address on Tuesday night, Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume critiqued the president’s effort, noting that lobbying for a vote on military authorization against Syria while at the same time calling for a pause was a difficult task.
“I think it was a speech in search of a purpose,” Hume said in an appearance with Fox host Bret Baier. “I mean, after all, ask yourself this question, Bret, what did the president ask for tonight? He came in support of a resolution that he has asked Congress to postpone. He is asking support for the authorization for the use of force. But he doesn’t want to do that and he doesn’t even want them to vote on it. I think the events of yesterday just overtook him. He asked for the time, he announced a speech.”
“I think he had to go through with it,” he continued. “I think he did the best he could with it. But your interview with Sen. [Rand] Paul gave you the sense of all the different reasons that a multitude of people from various parts of the political spectrum have for opposing this action. This resolution authorizing use of force — I think Sen. Paul was correct, this is probably in trouble in the Senate where it looked like it might pass, and it is nowhere in the House of Representatives. And I don’t think anything the president did or said tonight is going to change that, since it will be followed by this pause which will allow the effect of whatever he said to peter out.”
Hume also weighed in on the Russian effort to broker a deal between the United States and Syria, pointing out that history is repeating itself in this regard since Russia using a similar maneuver to one the USSR used when the United States was preparing to strike Iraq in the first Gulf War.
“I think the administration has said it is skeptical,” Hume said. “And perhaps it is skeptical. One should always be skeptical when Russia intervenes, when Moscow intervenes at a time like this. I remember, Bret, during the run-up to the first gulf war, or even after the bombing campaign that begun to get Iraq out of Kuwait that Russia — Moscow I should say was still trying to intercede on behalf of Iraq with various peace plans and so forth, which didn’t really fill the bill. We don’t know whether this Russian plan is serious. We do know that they are now beginning to attach conditions to it — one of them being of course, the U.S. would forswear the use of force. One would imagine that was unacceptable to the administration. So yeah, I think they are probably skeptical and with good reason, but they’re asking for the pause. And the pause will take some of the air out of the tire here. But it will not leave the president, in my judgment, in any better fettle with the American public or Congress if he’s continuing to take the position that he must have their authorization to use force and he won’t act without it.”