In a report released by the Daily Beast, an anonymous member of Congress stated that President Obama was visibly upset over criticism coming from both Democrats and Republicans. According to the Daily Beast, President Obama spoke during a meeting at the White House on July 31, right before the August recess. During the meeting, President Obama referred to criticism about his policy in Syria as "horse s**t." Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, openly criticized the president during the meeting, but President Obama pushed back, and was visibly upset.
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) attending the meeting midway through and noted that President Obama "feels very strongly that we are deluding ourselves if we think American intervention in Syria early on by assisting these rebels would have made a difference." The president spoke with the New York Times in an interview released Friday and referred to arming the Syrian rebels as a way to make the region more safe as a "fantasy."
It is not just Republicans that have criticized President Obama's handling of Syria. Sitting down for an interview with The Atlantic this week, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton slammed the president's actions, calling them a "failure" for not arming the rebels earlier.
“The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled."
Clinton is expected to run for president in 2016, and this could be her way of distancing herself from President Obama as his poll numbers continue to drop to all time lows. At a time when foreign policy is in the headlines with multiple countries engaging in warfare, President Obama, Democrats and Republicans are at a crossroads in crafting a message and policy that works for the country and for their own agenda.