BOSTON (CBS) – Former U.S. Senator Scott Brown is criticizing newly-elected Senator Ed Markey for his stance on Syria.
Markey is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and he voted “present,” instead of yay or nay, on the resolution to support a military strike against Syria.
Markey was the only senator on the panel to cast a noncommittal vote.
The committee voted 10-to-7 in favor of using force in Syria.
Markey explained his decision, saying, “before casting such a monumental vote, I need to review all of the relevant classified materials relating to this matter before I make a decision as important as authorizing the use of military force.”
If you saw the new Senator from MA – Sen. Markey, he voted “present” in the Committee on Foreign Relations vote today. Please let him know that the people of MA did not send him down there to vote “present”, they sent him down there to at least vote. He gets a check, he should vote. I did not agree with John Kerry on much, but at least he would have had the guts to vote. Markey said he needs more time to analyze the information. He sits on the Committee that gets all the information. Unreal. Let’s see who covers for him.
Markey defended his decision, saying, “the people of Massachusetts expect their senators to have analyzed all the facts, and I want to make sure I have all the facts before I cast that vote.”
Markey says he’ll continue to review classified materials and will vote yes or no when the proposal comes before the full Senate, likely next week.
Gabriel Gomez, who lost to Markey in the special election in June, also had harsh words for the new senator.
“I would have respected him if he’d have voted no, or if he’d have voted yes,” Gomez told WBZ-TV Thursday night. “Either way, as long as he can back up why he voted the way he did. But to vote present is just an abdication of duty, and that’s not what he’s sent down there for.”
Gomez, a 47-year-old businessman and former Navy SEAL, positioned himself as a moderate and Washington outsider during the special election.
“He failed this test,” said Gomez. “It’s just unconscionable that he wouldn’t have fortitude or the conviction to vote one way or the other.”
“There’s 18 people on that panel, on that committee, and 17 people apparently had enough information,” said Gomez. “For him to need more information, I think, doesn’t hold water.”
WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong contributed to this report.