Obama Struggles to Gain Support for Syria Strike

President prepares to convince a skeptical congress, war-weary public.
2:42 | 09/07/13

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Transcript for Obama Struggles to Gain Support for Syria Strike
the new developments in what may be the biggest challenge in the presidency of barack obama. Overnight, he arrived back home after a difficult trip overseas, where he did not manage to rally much support for his plans to bomb syria. Now, he has congress and the american people to convince. Good morning. Reporter: Good morning, dan. President obama faces a skeptical congress and angry public, as he begins to make the final pitch on syria this weekend. We are the united states of america. We cannot turn a blind eye to images like the ones we've seen out of syria. Reporter: In his weekly address this morning, president obama was adamant, trying to convince congress and the public that a military strike on syria is absolutely necessary. This was not only a direct attack on human dignity, it's a serious threat to national security. Failing to respond to this outrageous attack would risk that chemical weapons can be used again. That they can fall in the hands of terrorists who would use them against us. And it would send a horrible signal to other nations that there would be no consequences for their use of these weapons. Reporter: The impassioned plea, comes after a disappointing four-day trip overseas. The president returning last night without the international support he had so desperately hoped for. At home, the situation is just as dire. While the president was away, his cabinet and advisers failed to persuade congress for action. I knew this was going to be a heavy lift. Reporter: The president is trying to win over the public with a national address on tuesday. I did not put this before congress just as a political ploy or as symbolism. Reporter: Still, an abc news survey of lawmakers finds more than half of congress is opposed or leaning against military strikes. Congressman emanuel cleaver, who got an earful from voters in kansas city, told us, he's highly skeptical. What would I be doing if george bush were in the white house? What's right should be right no matter who sleeps in the white house. Reporter: Now, the president's address to the nation on tuesday is one of the most consequential speeches of his presidency. Senior administration officials tell me they're well aware of the public opinion they're going against. But they're working all weekend long, trying to persuade those lawmakers, the skeptical lawmakers before the votes begin next week in congress. Many saying this could define his presidency. Our thanks to you.

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