By Bill Glauber
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that he opposes President Barack Obama's plan on Syria, issuing a statement that outlined his concerns with the administration's handling of the crisis.
Ryan's opposition could prove an important stumbling block for the White House as it seeks Congressional support for its Syria policy.
Ryan had previously said he wanted to hear Obama make the case on Syria.
"I believe the President's proposed military strike in Syria cannot achieve its stated objectives," Ryan said in the statement that was issued around 12 hours after Obama addressed the nation.
"In fact, I fear it will make things worse," Ryan said. "The President says a show of force will preserve our credibility. But a feckless show of force will only damage our credibility."
Ryan said this week's events "reinforced our credibility gap. After making the case for a firm, rapid response, President Obama has called for an indefinite delay. He lacks a clear strategy, and now he's following Russia's lead."
Ryan said that "Syria's civil war isn't our fight, but we have a stake in the outcome." He said the "best punishment" for Bashir Assad's "war crimes is for moderate elements of the opposition to prevail. But the President's ill-conceived, half-hearted proposal will do little to help."
"It will make America look weak, when we need to be strong," Ryan said. "It will merely curse the past, when we need to protect the future. For all these reasons, I cannot support it."