Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said Saturday she does not believe using military force in Syria would be in the country's best interests, saying President Barack Obama has not made a convincing argument to that end.
"The American public, West Virginians are so weary of war, and this is an ambiguous mission," she said during a stop at an Upshur County Republican rally at the North Buckhannon Park. "In Iraq, we did have a national interest. We had just been attacked."
Capito said something must be done in Syria, but said she doesn't think the United States needs to be the lone force in stopping future chemical attacks against that country's own people.
The Inter-Mountain photo by John Wickline
West Virginia Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, right, chats with Marie Cutright on Saturday at North Buckhannon Park.
"I think we need a coalition," she said. "It's horrifying what is going on."
Capito said she appreciated the president seeking the support of Congress for a potential military strike. But she said she has not seen the evidence that would change her mind.
"I would say, 'Thank you,' for coming to Congress, that I'm very pleased with the direction he took," she said. "I need to be convinced it would be in America's best interests. I'm strongly leaning at voting 'No.'"
Capito also stressed the need for Congress to pass a comprehensive, six-year transportation bill, one that would include a means to finish Corridor H.
"Corridor H is important because of the economic development," she said. "We have to finish Corridor H. We need that road bill. These are things we should be able to get done across party lines.
"What bothers me is that people are calling it 'the road to nowhere,'" she added. "It will bring in commerce and tourism from the population centers. That's what we want."
She also said that the nation needs to encourage its youth to pursue careers in science, technology and math, and it should devote resources to energy development.
"An energy economy is a jobs economy," she said. "If we are more and more reliant on our own energy, we are less reliant to a part of the world that is in upheaval."
But to do so, Capito said, the country's energy policy needs to be all-inclusive.
"The president is picking winners and losers, and West Virginia is losing," she said. "We need to have an all-of-the-above energy policy. It's good for the country. It's good for energy independence, and it's good for this region."
Capito is seeking the U.S. Senate seat being vacated after the 2014 election by Sen. Jay Rockefeller. She noted that state voters have never sent a woman to the Senate, nor a Republican since 1956. She said she thinks this mid-term election has the ability to make an impact, even though Obama is in the middle of a second term.
"2014, particularly in the Senate, is the place to make an impact," she said, "whether it's in climate change, energy policy or even Syria."
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