Syria forces possible GOP candidates to pick sides

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Updated: Wed, 04 Sep 2013 03:16:04 EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's plea to Congress for the go-ahead for military strikes against Syria is forcing ambitious Republicans weighing a White House bid to choose sides as the party is bitterly divided over the U.S. role in foreign policy. Kentucky's Sen. Rand Paul remains unequivocal in his opposition, tangling with Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday over constitutional powers and the possibility that a U.S. attack will further destabilize the Mideast. While fiercely opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida expressed frustration with the Obama administration's handling of Syria and skepticism about U.S. involvement. Potential Republican presidential candidates hardly want to appear weak on national security. But they are concerned that the U.S. could be drawn into a protracted conflict.

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