President Obama Urges Congress to Vote Conscience on Syria, Even If Public Opposed

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The president said he remains hopeful that public opinion will begin to turn in the coming days, but it remains an uphill climb. Even as White House officials have been making a full-court press to win the support of members of Congress, many lawmakers -- including top Democrats -- point the finger at Obama for not being a better salesman.

"I do think that it would be easier if there was a stronger case being made to the American people," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told the L.A. Times today. "People have to really know more about why the president has made this decision."

The White House has asserted the authority to act against Syria even without permission from Congress, and Obama today did not rule out proceeding on his own, disputing comments from deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken, who earlier Friday told NPR that it's "neither his [Obama's] desire nor his intention to use that authority absent Congress backing him."

"I don't think that's exactly what he said," Obama said in response to a question from ABC's Jonathan Karl.

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