Where Do the Possible 2016 Presidential Candidates Stand on Syria?

However, she did add, "It is very hard to train and equip opposition fighters. It is very hard to know who is going to emerge from this and making the wrong bet could have very severe consequences. So there are certain positions and actions we've taken and we've also laid down the red line on chemical weapons because that could have far-reaching effects beyond even the street-to-street fighting that is so terrible to watch and it could also affect other countries."

The day before Clinton left the State Department in January she told reporters the conflict "is distressing on all fronts."

"I think I've done what was possible to do over the last two years in trying to create or help stand up an opposition that was credible and could be an interlocutor in any kind of political negotiation," Clinton said.

In February it was revealed that the president rebuffed a plan last summer by Clinton, then CIA Director David Petraeus and then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to arm the Syrian rebels.

Rick Santorum

As a presidential candidate in 2012, Rick Santorum was very vocal about his foreign policy positions, most notably Iran. He has continued to discuss foreign policy publicly and hasn't shied away from it when he visits Iowa.

Last week Santorum called both Syria and Egypt "colossal failures."

"The impact of the failure of this administration in both Egypt and in Syria is going to have a ripple effect in the Middle East and for our country for a long, long time," Santorum said. "It's because we have a president who has decided to defer his foreign policy to the United Nations. He's a president who believes that America is not a moral force or a military or ideological force in the world."

Santorum said he has no "doubt" chemical weapons were used, but he is not sure which side used them, differing from the administration and most voices weighing in on the issue.

"It wouldn't be a surprise to me that both sides were using them or that the radical Islamists are using them," Santorum said. "Because these are folks whose watch word is terrorism. There's nothing that strikes more terror than weapons of mass destruction, particularly chemical and biological weapons. While I agree with Secretary Kerry -- it is very clear that chemical weapons were used -- the idea that we need to be punishing Assad and doing things to tip the balance in favor of al Qaeda who are running the rebel forces to me is a very questionable tactic of itself."

Governors May Weigh In, But Haven't Yet

The other possible contenders are governors who have yet to weigh in on the conflict, able to focus on statewide issues and stay away from the growing conflict. However, as the calendar moves closer to 2016, possible candidates like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be forced to voice their opinion.

Of course, that's if they end up running.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Left, Sabrina Allen, 4, is shown in this photo provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; right, Sabrina Allen, 17, is seen in this undated handout photo.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children|Courtesy of PI Phillip Klein
Kelly Ripa
Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library
PHOTO: Earths moon is pictured as observed in visible light, left, topography, center, and the GRAIL gravity gradients, right.
NASA/GSFC/JPL/Colorado School of Mines/MIT
PHOTO: A long-distance bus station is filled with passengers at the start of Golden Week on Oct. 1, 2014 in Zhengzhou, China.
ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images
PHOTO: Ben Affleck is pictured on the Sept. 29, 2014, episode of The Tonight Show.
Douglas Gorenstein/Getty Images