War vote on Syria looms for White House hopefuls

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Associated Press

Posted on September 3, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 4 at 11:02 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Backing President Barack Obama's plea for military action against Syria could haunt Senate Republicans thinking hard about a White House bid in 2016.

A leading anti-interventionist within the GOP, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, says it's unlikely he will back even a narrow resolution giving Obama the authority to respond militarily to the Syrian government's alleged use of deadly chemical weapons on civilians.

A vocal critic of Syria's Bashar Assad and a proponent of arming the rebels, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, offers a more cautious response.

The Syria vote is enormously complicated for potential Republican presidential candidates, who hardly want to appear weak on national security but fear criticism if the United States is drawn into a protracted conflict or if limited military steps prove unsuccessful.

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