DENVER – As the Senate prepares to vote on a resolution authorizing military force in Syria later this week, and the House of Representatives as early as next week, congressional hopeful and foreign policy wonk Andrew Romanoff (D-Aurora) remains conspicuously ambiguous on the issue.
Romanoff, who previously served as a senior advisor to International Development Enterprises, a global non-profit that “creates income and livelihood opportunities for poor rural households”, is no stranger to the foreign policy arena.
When rumors swirled that Romanoff would challenge Sen. Michael Bennet in the 2010 primary, the Obama administration hinted at a cushy foreign policy gig with USAID if he dropped out of the race, recognizing his experience in the field.
In 2003, he co-sponsored Senate Joint Resolution 03-016 which “[honored] President Bush’s leadership in his effort to protect the United States against Saddam Hussein.”
The findings of the resolution included language noting that Saddam Hussein “has demonstrated a willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against neighboring nations and the citizens of Iraq,” and expresses support of George W. Bush for working with “Congress and the United Nations… to either disarm Saddam Hussein or remove him from power.”
But Romanoff has been less decisive on Syria, stopping short of articulating support for a military strike.
“What I’m wrestling with and what I think most Americans are wrestling with is how do you stand by in the face of this savagery? If the international community is unwilling to enforce the ban it placed on the use of chemical weapons, what role should the U.S. play and at what cost?” Romanoff said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
Last week, Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) stated his hesitation for support of a military strike in Syria, however limited the President claims it would be.
“I’m not sure there are any really good guys out there, that in a vacuum of power it is certainly possible that an al Qaeda-linked organization could surface in its place,” Coffman said.
Coffman was also critical of the President telegraphing his intentions, making any future strike less effective.
“The Assad government has had all the time in the world to move their assets around so they don’t present themselves as easy targets,” he said.
Operatives point to Romanoff’s wonkish inclinations in a district evenly split between Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. Some observers believe it could spell trouble for the Democrat, who like other candidates across the country, will not be given a pass on the number one foreign policy issue facing the nation.
In a Rasmussen Poll conducted September 6-7, just 27 percent of likely voters support U.S. military action in retaliation against Syria for chemical weapons use.
A CNN poll conducted over September 6-8 found that just 40 percent of Americans support a resolution authorizing military force against Syria.