David Gergen: If Obama Doesn't Respect His Own Red Line Iran and Israel Won't Buy His Toughness

CNN senior political analyst David Gergen made a statement on CBS's Face the Nation Sunday that was rather hawkish for a former Clinton adviser.

"If [President Obama] doesn't respect his own red line on Syria, there is no question that Israel and Iran will look at that and say, 'Well, we can't trust the guy. He’s not going to be tough.'"

DAVID GERGEN: I appreciate the Administration has a dilemma. They want Assad to fall. They want him to lose, but they don't want the rebels to win. It puts you in an awkward place because they’re really worried it will become an Islamist state. But Norah, I respectfully disagree that the red line’s a distraction. Once a President of the United States draws a red line it becomes important to the world. Everybody else reads in to how he responds to a red line. Is he serious about Iran? Is he not serious about Iran? He's drawn a red line on Iran. If he doesn't respect his own red line on Syria, there is no question that Israel and Iran will look at that and say, "Well, we can't trust the guy. He’s not going to be tough.”

NORAH O’DONNELL: But even if we cross the red line it's not clear that we're going to do anything further.

GERGEN: But to go back to John's point, the red line implies that you’re going, and he said it’s going to be a game changer. I mean, why did he draw the red line without knowing what he was going to do next?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.