DCCC Chair: Syria Won’t Matter in 2014

Democratic campaign committee takes no position on Syria strike but sees hypocrisy in Republican opposition.

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 11: Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is interviewed by Roll Call in his DCCC office. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call) (Newscom TagID: rollcallpix057390) [Photo via Newscom]
Roll Call Photos/Newscom
Sept. 10, 2013, 5:34 a.m.

The man charged with lead­ing Demo­crats back to a ma­jor­ity in the House on Tues­day down­played the po­ten­tial polit­ic­al im­pact of the crisis in Syr­ia, say­ing that re­gard­less of what ac­tion takes place, voters will care far more about oth­er is­sues by next Novem­ber.

“It does not com­plic­ated the cycle at all; 2014 is not go­ing to be a ref­er­en­dum on Syr­ia,” said Steve Is­rael, chair­man of the Demo­crat­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee. “2014 will be a ref­er­en­dum on who can get things done and who clung to par­tis­an­ship and ex­trem­ists.”

Polls have shown deep pub­lic op­pos­i­tion to any mil­it­ary ac­tion in the Middle East­ern coun­try: A United Tech­no­lo­gies/Na­tion­al Journ­al Con­gres­sion­al Con­nec­tion Poll found just 21 per­cent en­dorsed launch­ing a “lim­ited mil­it­ary strike, us­ing only air power, to pun­ish the Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment for us­ing chem­ic­al weapons.” Fifty-five per­cent said the U.S. should “do noth­ing and stay out of the Syr­i­an civil war.”

Many Demo­crat­ic House mem­bers have voiced skep­ti­cism about the pro­posed mil­it­ary ac­tion. And on the polit­ics, Is­rael, who is per­son­ally sup­port­ive of such ac­tion, em­phas­ized that the DCCC is not en­cour­aging or dis­cour­aging mem­bers from sup­port­ing a vote al­low­ing a mil­it­ary strike.

“The DCCC has ab­so­lutely no opin­ion, no cal­cu­la­tion,” Is­rael said. “We are em­phat­ic­ally neut­ral on this is­sue. Our job is to win elec­tions, not to shape for­eign policy and na­tion­al se­cur­ity.”

House Demo­crats, he ad­ded, won’t back the strike simply to help Obama.

“They love the pres­id­ent, but they love them­selves more,” he said. “So at the end of the day, they’re go­ing to do what makes the most sense for them­selves and their dis­tricts.”

Still, Is­rael couldn’t help but take a swipe at House Re­pub­lic­ans for op­pos­ing Obama’s pro­pos­al, sug­gest­ing their op­pos­i­tion was rooted not in prin­cipled op­pos­i­tion but in par­tis­an­ship.

“Does any­body truly be­lieve that if Mitt Rom­ney had been elec­ted pres­id­ent and asked House Re­pub­lic­ans for ex­actly what Pres­id­ent Obama is ask­ing, that House Re­pub­lic­ans would op­pose it to ex­tent that they’re op­pos­ing what Pres­id­ent Obama wants?” he asked. “The level of hy­po­crisy is what amazes me.”

What We're Following See More »
$19B INCLUDES NO IMMIGRATION-RELATED MONEY
Congress, White House Reach Disaster Aid Deal
6 hours ago
THE LATEST
OFFERED $16M IN LOANS FOR ADMINISTRATION JOB
Banker Indicted in New York for Bribery Scheme with Manafort
9 hours ago
THE LATEST
ANOTHER FIVE YEARS
Modi Wins Reelection as India's PM
9 hours ago
THE DETAILS
FAMILY WILL JOIN HIM
Trump Headed to UK Next Month
10 hours ago
THE LATEST
FEDERAL JUDGE WON'T BLOCK SUBPOENA OF BANK RECORDS
Trump Loses in Court Again
1 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login