Obama: Chemical Weapons a 'Red Line' in Syria

He also defends tax return attacks on Romney as 'standard stuff'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2012 2:02 PM CDT
Obama: Chemical Weapons a 'Red Line' in Syria
President Barack Obama speaks in the White House briefing room in Washington, Monday, Aug. 20, 2012.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – President Obama gave perhaps the strongest indication yet today that the US is prepared to use military force in Syria. In a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room, Obama said he has not ordered military action "at this point," but that he hadn't ruled it out, Reuters reports. "A red line for us is (if) we see a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around, or being utilized," he said. "That would change my calculus."

In the same appearance, Obama defended his campaign's attacks on Mitt Romney's refusal to release his tax returns. "If you want to be president of the United States, your life's an open book when it comes to things like your finances," he said, according to Politico. "This isn't overly personal here, guys. This is pretty standard stuff. I don't think we're being mean by asking you to do what every other presidential candidate has done!" (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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