The chairman of Congressional Democrats’ campaign arm said Syria would not be a “referendum” on the 2014 election cycle.
“It does not complicate the cycle at all. 2014 is not going to be a referendum on Syria. 2014 is going to be a referendum on solutions,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Steve Israel (NY) said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast on Tuesday morning.
Israel’s comments came the same morning that Syria reportedly agreed to hand its chemical weapons over to the international community for dismantling, a deal brokered by Russia. The White House had previously been pushing lawmakers to back military action against Syria in response to reported use of chemical weapons there, but the White House says the deal comes as the result of a threat of possible U.S. military action.
This deal came after significant hesitation and outright opposition among both Democrats and Republicans to taking military action, suggesting that President Barack Obama might not be able to get congressional approval for a missile strike on Syria.
Israel stressed that Syria would not be a major campaign topic in 2014.
“2014 is going to be a referendum on who is willing to get things done and who clung to partisanship and extremism,” Israel continued. “2014 will be a referendum on who is willing to get things done and who clung to partisanship and extremism. 2014 will be a referendum on who’s ideas are helping the middle class versus Republican ideas that are undermining the middle class. Syria will not be the subject of a referendum in 2014.”
Israel slammed Republicans’ opposition to Obama’s call to take military action in Syria.
“Does anybody truly believe that Mitt Romney had been elected president and asked the House Republicans for exactly what President Obama is asking the House Republicans would oppose it to the extent that they’re opposing what Obama wants? The level of hypocrisy is what amazes me,” Israel said.