Joe Mathieu Talks To The Candidates: Rep. Joe Kennedy On ISIS Response

BOSTON (CBS) – U.S. forces have been joined in airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria by five Arab nations, winning President Obama rare support from some Republicans even after the president admitted U.S. intelligence underestimated the threat from the terrorist group.

But some critics in Congress, including fellow Democrats, are questioning the president taking action without more involvement from Congress.

WBZ’s Joe Mathieu talked about the situation with U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy.

Kennedy said “something has to be done” but stressed that Congress has an obligation and a responsibility to weigh in on the matter.

“If we are going to ask our men and women in uniform to engage in a potentially prolonged military conflict against another terrorist group in another country in the Middle East, then at the very least that Congress can do, is understand it, understand what we’re asking them to do and vote on it,” he said.

The Newton Democrat said he believes Congress should be called back in October to address how to respond to the threat from ISIS.

“I think we should be back down in Washington and debating this and trying to figure out what those next steps should be,” Kennedy said.

Asked if the White House is handling the matter properly, Kennedy responded: “Yes, the president certainly has authority to protect our nation and I’m not advocating anything different than that.”

But Kennedy questioned whether the administration can claim to have existing legal authority for the airstrikes under an authorization that happened in 2001 after 9/11. He sees key questions that must be asked about military action in Syria.

“What does success look like? What are we trying to achieve there? How long is that gonna take and what is the role for United States troops,” Kennedy asked.

“Airstrikes are clearly going to be part of this strategy,” he added. “I am very hesitant to believe that any U.S. troops – boots on the ground in Syria combatting these terrorists – is going to make the situation any better in the short term or long term.”

The Kennedy interview is part of a series of interviews Joe Mathieu and WBZ NewsRadio 1030 will be conducting with the candidates running for office in November.

Listen to Joe’s interview with Kennedy:

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