tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC September 10, 2013 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
>> chris hays is live next. tonight the president's address to the country and the response. first, three congress people and one who is undecided on whether to attack syria will be with men a moment. then the in the national. i will be joined by journalists who cover the middle east for their take on the president's address. plus it was election day in some places around the country today including here in new york. where i feel like i have completely memorized every mayoral tv campaign ad by now.
an addressen which president obama is well aware of america's deep skepticism towards war in the middle east and his own political capital. and tonight the president threw his support behind a delay on congressional action. based on early signs of an unexpected diplomatic breakthrough. >> in part because of the credible threat of u.s. military action as well as constructive talks i had with president putin, the russian government has indicated a willingness to join with the international community in pushing assad to give up his chemical weapons. it's too early to tell whether this offer will succeed. and any agreement must verify that the assad regime keeps its commitments. but this initiative has potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force. particularly because russia is one of assad's strongest allies.
i have therefore asked the leaders of congress to postpone a vet to authorize the use of force while we pursue this diplomatic path. i am sending secretary of state john kerry to meet his russian counterpart on thursday and i will continue my own discussions with president putin. tonight, president obama did not remove the threat. explaining the kind of military action he thought appropriate, the president took on critics. >> others have asked whether it is worth acting if we didn't take out assad. some members of congress have said there is no point in simply doing a pinprick strike in syria. let me make something clear.
the united states military doesn't do pinpricks. even a limited strike will send a message to assad that no other nation can deliver. i don't think we should remove a dictator by force. think twice before using chemical weapons. >> that pinprick remark was a direct reference to this from senator john mccain a week ago. we have to have a plan. it has to be a strategy. it can not be in my view, pinprick cruise missiles. >> above all, the president was making a case for a vision america's role in the world and implored sit snz to kid what he believes is the moral responsibility that comes hand in hand with the global dominance. >> america is not the world's policeman. terrible things happen across
the globe. and it is beyond our means to right every wrong. but when -- with modest effort and risk, we can stop children from being gassed to death. and thereby make our own children safer over the long run. i believe we should act. >> joining me now congressman, democrat from california, a member of the armed house services committee. he is opposed to military intervention in syria. congressman did anything you saw tonight change your mind on that score? i am enthusiastic, optimistic and excited about the potential which could take the chemical weapons out of syria and eliminate that entire problem. that need to be pushed. we need to embrace it.
now the vote has been delayed. what do you see as your role over the next week, two weeks, or however long it takes for this diplomatic process to play out? >> i think there is two things. the first is we need to make russia own this, it's their concept, their idea. syria is their client. and we need to make them own it. it's the credibility of russia that is at stake now and we need to make that very, very clear. we also -- i am sure that many of my colleague whose want to see some sort of resolution pass the house and the senate, they'll be working on language. this is an ever-evolving situation. one in which we may not be able to have final language. i expect i'll owe poppose it.
nonetheless, final language. just in case. just in case this doesn't work out. >> do you think if you had to place a wager right now. that there will ever be a vote in the house on language. it seems to me that the delay now, opens up the likelihood of there never actually being language come before the house of representatives? >> i hope that's the case. i hope that's the case. because that would be a direct result of this particular effort to try to take the chemical weapons out of saddam -- out of assad's hands and put them into international control and, hopefully the quick disposal of them. we're not there yet. but if that happens, you are right, there will not be a vote. if on the other hand it fails, there must be a vote. i don't think the president has the power to do this on his own. but we'll see. i'm optimistic. i am very, very optimistic. this thing is evolving very fast. there will be language issues and the u.n. resolution for
sure. but we need to get past that. we need to really put the pressure on all of us particularly on russia, to honor its commitment to make this happen. >> one possible negative consequence of this. i agree with you. i am optimistic about the developments. one possible negative consequence, the longer this plays out and congressional oxygen is sucked up with this. the less congressional oxygen for continuing resolution, and debt ceiling and getting rid of sequestration, comprehensive immigration reform. do you worry about the clock being eaten up in a crowded legislative calendar for the fall. >> of course, you forgot the farm bill which expirz.expires. >> we need to get back to the other issues. i understand the republicans are going to put a continuing resolution which will continue to fund the government after the, end of september. and they're likely to go even
below the level of funding of this year which is equal to the 2008 funding. that is going to create an enormous crisis throughout the united states. so we'll see. we have a lot of heavy lifting out ahead over the next couple weeks. >> congressman, thank you so much for your time tonight. >> joining me is the congressman from utah. opposed to military intervention in syria. congressman, your response to the president's speech tonight? >> well, i see a lot of inconsistencies. we want our president abroad to be sequester ses f be successful. there is no mention of what he did in libya. he didn't come to the united states congress to take action in libya. we did help oust a dictator there. seems to be a different standard. in the 20 days since at take, i see a lot, almost daily basis, a change here. i still haven't heard from the president of the united states what happens in steps, two, three, four. what are the consequences if we
actually use the military force. there are those of us that are concerned that injecting ourselves into a civil war in syria has a lot of consequences. and that again still has not been thoroughly discussed. >> was a living intervention the wrong thing to do? >> i believe we should have come to congress and had the discussion. i don't believe we should have been doing that. i've don't believe when there is not a clear, present danger to the united states of america we have got to have a long thorough discussion about whether or not we should do that. and i don't see a clear and present danger to the united states of america and syria. it is a civil war. i have a great hesitancy to get involved in just a very, by the way, i also do believe that if, if you are going to go to war, you go with everything you fight to win. you go with everything. you don't just send a hallmark card, couple -- >> no one listens. >> again, the president made a point. >> missiles. >> doesn't do pinpricks, i get and understand that. i don't know that it would actually totally solve the
problem. >> that's different. i humbly receive, on the receiving end of 300 tomahawk missiles doesn't feel like getting a hallmark card. one of the things i am curious to see play out. many of your colleagues on the republican side. do you see your colleagues embracing a diplomatic solution even if that means relying heavily on a kind of tortured process that goes through international body. a lot of back and forth. lot of wrangling at the u.n. and vladamir putin, throwing up obstacles. is there the patience amongst your colleagues on the republican side to stick to a diplomatic process? >> hopefully there is a lot of optimism. a lot of bipartisan support in opposition to using military force. i think that probably surprised a lot of people. it is a reflection of the constituencies. we see that on both side. if there is a diplomatic solution. again we can't have delay
tactics. president, vice president. able to meet with him. gracious at this time. he understands there need to be verification to go through the process. it would necessitate a cease-fire. the proper people could get in there and do the verification. the ads are tough. difficult. an uphill battle. but of course we want to be optimisting of th inic of that. do you think there is an opportunity to change the trajectory of the relationship between congress and the executive over the last 12 years. particularly in the post 9/11 era in which more and more power, the president himself said accrued in the executive. do you see this as a turning point? >> well i hope there is more collaboration. i can tell you in my five short years, been here in the united states congress. i got a call from the was chief of staff. i was able to go today, invited by the was to visit for an hour and a half. with the vice president. i told them both, look, have the sort of die leg and discuss from somebody viewed as one of those,
you know right-wing tea party type of guys is encouraging the discussion we should be having. i hope it continues. i hope not temporary. >> that is a fascinating tidbit there. congressman, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you, chris. >> joining me now is a congresswoman from florida. she is undecided whether the u.s. should militarily intervene in syria. congresswoman did anything tonight that you heard from the president, both in laying out the case and laying out the case to push off a vote, so that diplomacy can have some time to work. did any of it push you in one direction or the other? >> chris, let me start and say i am the mother of a marine war veteran. served both in iraq and afghanistan. i come to this process -- probably like most americans. i am against war. and the last thing i want to do is send anybody's dad or son into a war. the president has come to
congress, a man i respect very much. to ask for military action in syria. despite my bias. i want to take the time to be deliberate. what the president, gave a 15-minute speech. i have spent the last ten days or so. talking to world leaders, i was on a trip, to the mideast when, when, he started this conversation with congress. myself and colleagues we have read classified briefings. we have had many, many discussions today. i spent a couple of hours, colleagues with the vice president. so we have taken a lot of time -- so there was nothing new for me. but i want to add, to what my colleague said, that i am also -- very hopeful. that we'll have a breakthrough. and this -- this can be resolved without military action. >> so you still find yourself essentially undecided on the question of -- whether, whether
the congress should grant the president the authority that she was seeking prior to today when it was delayed. i'm not sure exactly what your question is. here's my anxiety. i think there are potential unintended consequences with an action even though the president believes or says it will be limited. you know from what i have heard, and read, it's a very unstable situation in syria. my concern is especially that not only do we have a country that is militarily fatigued but as important to me is i am not sure if we push too hard on the side, who fills that void. there are actually -- worse actors, if that's hard to believe, but there are terrible actors on both side of this civil war. and so -- it is the unknown that
i think is causing a tremendous amount of anxiety for many of us in congress. >> that anxiety, that anxiety is broadly shared in congress, among citizens and throughout the region. congressman, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you, chris. >> we'll be back with analysis of the president's address, from the nation and msnbc's commentator. r machines. some companies just don't appreciate the power of conversation! you know, i like you! i like you too! at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you. get the it card and talk to a real person. this man is about to be the millionth customer. would you mind if i go ahead of you? instead we had someone go ahead of him and win fifty thousand dollars. congratulations you are our one millionth customer. nobody likes to miss out. that's why ally treats all their customers the same. whether you're the first or the millionth. if your bank doesn't think you're special anymore, you need an ally. ally bank. your money needs an ally.
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many of you have asked a broader question, why should we get involved at all in a place that's so complicated and where, as one person wrote to me, those who come after him maybe enemies of human rights. finally, many have asked, why not leave this to other countries or seek solutions short of force? several people wrote to me, we should not be the world's policeman. i agree. >> so do the majority of americans according to a new "wall street journal"/mp see poll. we focus on domestic problems instead of working to promote democracy abroad. that is a big shift when 54% said the u.s. should keep its focus at home. the most striking thing to me about this speech today was that the president attempted to
articulate a kind of vision of america's role in the world as the foundational way of making the case for why this should matter to us at all. >> i went back the last couple days and reread the speech he gave when he got his nobel prize, and that speech was similar to that talking about fundamental, moral authority of american power as the guarantor of these powers. it must be said that in the years since the 1945 u.n. charter, those have been violated over and over and over again. the u.n. has -- our military might has been the guarantor of those norms, or we have been the ones on the one-way street. >> that's right. >> you can't violate them. you made a strong moral case. if you believe that we are the loan, true guarantor of this. >> that was the case. they are the indispensable
nation, the superpower. the burden of superpower, take up a superpower's bergen. >> take away something else from this speech. he said we should not be the world's policeman. we saw in this past week some very important turning points, which this country could build on. the democratic process, you had a president going to the congress, may he he that the wisdom. we have not seen that enough. across the board, across partisan coalition saying, we don't want this. we had a few weeks ago in britain and parliament stand up. that was a remarkable rebuke to the alliance between the special lines between the united states and britain. we saw something we have not seen enough of, contempt, a disdain for this policy in dealing with international crises. we have a drumbeat of -- >> we have a proven/a saudiville, county in.
>> too often this has military solutions. so many good people in this country has said, it is a false twist to say that this is either no action or bobby in. >> to jump on that, it is a pretty tremendous. in august, 44% disapproved of the president's handling of this, now 57%. should congress? public opinion on this -- the president has been incredibly aware of that. when he said in that interview, michelle, he doesn't want to do this. that is an amazing thing for the president to say. >> barack obama has always been reluctant on the idea of committing u.s. troops. even as he saw the error of spring unfold, he has not gone in with a heavy hand.
we have watched that unfold in front of the rear guard position. we have supported the idea of these democratic revolutions. once this wash over to syria, they reacted to the peaceful protest, and he reacted with incredible brute force. what do we do? >> i think this is also a critical moment when there is an opening for a new foreign policy. not an isolationist one, one where america is a partner with oscillations. we need to become a centerpiece of action. i think that is critical. what will happen, and the president has spoken of the need to enforce international norms against chemical weapons. the possibility of this diplomatic deal is far more effective and a deterrent, because we will see dismantling, destruction of chemical weapons. >> we should not get ahead of ourselves. >> president reagan had an
expression, trust but verify. i would say, test, test results to find a resolution. test and test, because we could see a revival of the u.s. /russian relationship. >> at the same time, before we praise the u.n., we need to recognize the broken this of the security council process because the become the patrons of countries like syria and because they have their own issues. >> how do you support international laws and norms by violating international laws and norms? it's a very vexing issue. we are at a moment where we have to try diplomatic resolution. by the way, a political settlement is the answer to a stable syria. you need the region -- political settlement. >> maybe it is, maybe it isn't.
>> what is military might going to bring? there are other ways to -- our humanitarian intervention can deepen the disaster in syria. we need to search for other avenues. the french and u.k. have jumped on this proposition. >> absent the threat of american forests. his only interest is staying in power. only to remain in place and not letting the revolution watch him out. he was actually winning against the rebels. they probably cannot defeat him militarily. absent the threat of force, i don't think you bring -- a diplomatic solution, we all are in favor of it, but it leaves him in place. >> that is also weirdly in some ways what a lot of people of the world want. coming up, we will be joined by ryan graham from washington. stay with us. im from washington.
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there are some big, breaking election news we will bring you in a little bit. joining me now is ryan grim, washington bureau chief of the huffington post. before this week started, i knew what this week looked like. there was a big, high stakes poker the president was rushing toward a vote he was going to
lose. a big, a traumatic moment. now i have no clue what this week looks like and what the role is, what the calendar looks like kurt for other 35 members of congress weighing in on which tweaks they want to see? how does this play out question mark. >> what he will mostly see is the hill say, hey, move along, everybody. okay, there was a train wreck here, but we are getting this cleaned up. let's move on. fortunately for them they have all kinds of new crises that they can result. the budget coming up, the debt ceiling crisis, obama care is about to go into effect. they will focus on defunding that. your head could snap at how fast congress can move past this issue. >> no one wants to vote on this. no one wants to deal with it.
everybody will take an opportunity, but this speech and the diplomatic process working itself out. okay, enough with syria. >> there is already a process working its way through the senate. they are crafting something that would actually pass because it's very -- it rains in any action and ties it to the u.n. diplomatic process. i think that is where the hell wants to be because now they don't want to be on the record. >> i would not underestimate this. you could see it pushed back where people will begin to accuse the president of not having credibility or strength if he doesn't move. i think the president could very nimbly move and say, my legacy is going to be rebuilding this country, and i have put this process on the diplomatic track. we will test, and we will push, but we have to rebuild.
the congress is not working too well as it is. >> understatement. >> the president may want to use his executive authority wisely. the drug wars, minimum wage, keystone. >> the president, the hill doesn't want to deal with this. part of the mood of the country in terms of being opposed to intervention is a mood about exhaustion with work but also with the cost of anything that we are doing outside the country, the idea that we have very high unemployment and domestic priorities being ignored. does the hill take a signal from the white house about turning the agenda back to domestic concerns very quickly when we are doing the show monday night? will we have the continuing resolution? >> congress is in a place now we're not passing legislation is
paradoxically the same as passing legislation. obama wants the option to strike syria to remain on the table. as long as congress doesn't vote down that possibility, but it's much more conceivably on the table than if they held a vote and knocked it down. what's the point of actually, everybody getting together and debating a resolution that says if something doesn't happen, then we will bomb. leave as is. >> this is a major test for both president obama and president putin to test non-military solutions critic you have a region, moderates in some way coming to power in iran. there is talk about schilling iran. as president obama came to office to extricate this country from two words, may we see this flourish in his second term. i think he sees, not the
isolationism, but an unwillingness to spend a million per tomahawked when you can do better things and show your values and strong questions. >> we need not forget and remember that at the end of the day a solution that leaves a solid and power, a solution that does not bring some court of closer to civil war in that country means that we stand by and allowed this brutal, brutal dictator to go on. >> but that has been the case. that is american policy. >> if you look at everything he said from the tyrus speech is opposed to that. he does express and has expressed for many years a deep belief that american power should be used to stop this kind -- >> but he did tonight try to redefine american power when he said we can't be the world's
policemen. a peaceful settlement is going to war and partly through moscow, and it will require political settlement. people here that and think the weakness. >> no, and i think -- >> it's to get him to stop killing his own people. >> it's to the president's credit that he does not view it as weakness. >> exactly. >> thank you. the president's address is not the only thing making news. it's election day. some big election news. the latest results from elections that have drawn national attention, including the fate of this man. >> we have the best ideas. sadly, i was an imperfect messenger. and no calorie options. that's why on vending machines, we're making it easy for people to know how many calories are in their favorite beverages, before they choose. and we're offering more low calorie options, including over 70 in our innovative coca-cola
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run in november. local elections have not only garnered national attention but could have national implications. in new york city, we have been hitting refresh because we have an absolute nail-biter. 94% precincts reporting. bill is the leading democratic candidate and is deleting right now with 39.98% of the vote. why is that significant? he needs to get above 40% to avoid a runoff. maybe hours or days before we know for certain if there will be a runoff. he ran as an unabashed progressive on an anti-bloomberg platform speaking concerns of stop and frisk policies. it irked the current mayor so much that mr. bloomberg suggested in a recent interview that it was a racist campaign because it used his by racial family and adds. if he gets about 40% or winds the runoff, he will face the
republican who won the gop primary race today. as for anthony wiener, he finished almost but not quite dead last. he conceded earlier calling himself and imperfect messenger. tonight he got a parting gift from the woman he allegedly sexted with. it's my duty to be here. we are all pretty happy this race is over. meanwhile, former new york governor paul eliot spitzer, has lost his bid to become the comptroller. polls are closed out west, where in colorado voters decide today whether or not to recall two democratic state senators from office. president john morris and angela. they supported the only conditions, including universal background checks and limiting high-capacity magazines.
he conceded his race moments ago. the votes are still being tallied. it will be an uphill battle. even if both senators are recalled, it will not change policy. democrats have control of the senate. it does say something. the nra was able to target both of these members of the state legislative body after they voted for gun safety. all right. the past 24 hours have been a whirlwind. a debate over what to do has dramatically changed. in the latest developments including breaking news tonight. according to news, russia is blocking a resolution to enforce the russian plan for syria to turn over chemical weapons. we will be right back. yeah, we can make room. yeah. [ male announcer ] ...office space. yes, we're loving this communal seating. it's great. [ male announcer ] the best thing to share? a data plan. at&t mobile share for business. one bucket of data for everyone on the plan, unlimited talk and text on smart phones. now, everyone's in the spirit of sharing. hey, can i borrow your boat this weekend?
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and executive editor of serious deeply. she is the former middle east correspondent for abc news and bloomberg television. i am having trouble keeping up with the developments over the past 48 hours. here is where i understand us to be. an idea in an abstract has been floated to the idea in the abstract, syria turning over its chemical weapons to the u.n. allowing inspectors to come and take custody of them were exposed of them. an idea in the abstract the syrians have endorsed, the britons have endorsed it, the president seems open to. now comes the hard part. what is the hard part? >> it will be very difficult for the russians to come up with something the u.s. finds acceptable. we -- the security council resolution is a must. it's a bottom line for the u.s. . that is what the russians came out and said. they do not want to see the
threat of military action hanging over assad's head. >> two different resolutions, the chapter 7 resolution would have a binding authority of force to be a u.n. security council resolution and say, if these procedures aren't met, if the targets are missed, we can enforce this with force as sanctioned by the security council. they want some kind of resolution that essentially is symbolic. is there any way out of this box? >> no. it's unacceptable because the russians came around. they admitted they had stockpiles that they denied for years only because we waived the fact that we threaten them. >> you buy that argument. the credible threat of military force-coste absolutely. it's the only thing that pushed him to give out and come say that weight one second. we did not do this. i think they are terrified.
they know that the balance of power is toward them. if the americans want to intervene, it will change and very quickly and fast. >> we have heard this. the balance of power has shifted from the rebels to assad recently. now that it's in this period of bloody stalemate, what does the future of a conflict on the ground look like as this diplomatic process plays out? what's fascinating is, if you can't conceive of a diplomatic solution, what it would mean is that assad as the head of state would essentially be your partner on the other end of the table in making this solution come about. does that do something to confer legitimacy on him as the head of the syrians? >> longevity, yes. legitimacy, no. the goal for the u.s. has spent a manager transition. some sort of process by which we get from the assad's regime of today to a future syria without
him at home. the russians want him to stay indefinitely. this was the right speech to give tonight. give way for -- >> the president's speech. >> yes, because he gave room for the russian plan to be explored and potentially pursued, if it's real, but continuing to have a threat of force. i agree with that earlier in the show, the force in syria is crucial. it's accountability. how can have a political process? >> to push on this idea of a credible use of force, if it is true, as the u.s. intelligence case presented to us in declassified form would suggest, all of those campillo are there for a reason. if that is the case if he was responsible for this sarin gas attack, he understood that this was inviting u.s. force before him. >> when the u.s. was unwilling
to do anything about syria, not three, four weeks ago. >> look, he looked at the reality in what is happening in the arab world. assad is very smart, brutal, but smart. he saw, okay, the generals came back. they killed hundreds of muslim brotherhood, and america did not even stop. >> barely could bring ourselves to do anything. >> not only condemn it, we did not bring american aid. okay, they are releasing lou gehrig from jail. i have on my home, power. fundamentally they will think he is better than that islamists. he was wrong. >> there are lots of parts of the narrative that assad has put forward. one is that the only option is that assad or of kata. there is something in the middle. it's not easy, but it is what syrians want, and they want
stability. >> the americans, and with all due respect, they have this idea that we disengage from the middle east because it's a mess, or we strike. these are the two options 12 years after september 11th. actually we created that reality on the ground. we have weapons, with armament and with everything. also, we allowed them to back the islamists. we created these monsters. >> we are looking idly by as they pour money into it. >> hundreds of millions of dollars. >> what role will putin play in this? we will be right back with a former moscow correspondent for her take on russia's role. stick around. [ tires screech ]
still with me,, joining me now is miriam elder. how seriously do we take the russian proposal? does vladimir putin have the diplomatic way out, or is this a way of jerking around the americans, of delaying cover for assad? putin earlier today said that in order to get any chemical weapons agreement, the u.s. must renounce strikes. this will only mean anything if they tell us they are giving up their plan to use force against syria. can't really ask any other country to disarm all military action is being contemplated. what do you think his plan is here? >> i think that the ultimate goal of the russians hasn't
changed. it's still stands in contrast of what they want to see. they want to see them stay. nothing has changed that. that remains the case. i think russia is in a way stalling for time. they do want to put off a u.s. military strike. it seems they have seized upon the perfect moment. obama doesn't really want to deal with this. congress doesn't want to deal with this. everybody is passing the buck to the russians. one of the goals of the putin regime is to appear relevant. what do they have now aside from appearing relevant? >> the question then becomes, does it add to vladimir putin's appearance of relevance? does it make him seem larger if he can work out a viable solution? are the incentives for him success in the process, or are they tortes failure? that will be in large part of
what comes out of this diplomatic process. >> it depends on how you define success and failure. if you define it from putin's point of view, avoiding a u.s. military strike and ensuring that assad stays in power. it seems he is on his way to achieving his goal. i do not think that putin is very interested in achieving a diplomatic solution to the conflict at large. that is something the u.s. and russia have been talking about for almost two years after they have been trying to get a conference together since may when kerry-mack first announced it will meeting with the russian foreign minister. i don't see the events of the past few days changing that. >> do either of you feel that this solution is workable in any of the sense? >> logistically it depends on how you see the chemical stockpile. a lot of analysts say it's very
difficult to dismantle. you are talking about dozens of chemical weapons sites. it's actually not that hard for the regime. they have kept control and possession of these chemical stockpiles, moved them to regime-held areas. >> that's interesting. >> i actually think that it's less hard than we think because you have a partner in the region monotremes these issues very carefully in the last, maybe, i would say, eight, nine years. israel has been monitoring where they put them, how they used them, when they used them. they denounced the syrian regime six months ago. they started using them in small doses and will increase over and over and over. if the syrian regime wants to survive today, and probably they want to survive and are desperate to survive, they will follow the path. they have a common interest to keep this regime in place.
>> why does putin not want to see u.s. air strikes? he wants to see assad win. he must envision that the balance of power will tip even though we are talking about limited strikes. >> absolutely. if you think of the u.s. and russia as going through this cold war tussle except with a bit of nuance. during the cold war, russia was going around and spreading its influence. its main goal right now is to make sure that u.s. influence is in check. it doesn't want to see the u.s. effect any change inside syria, especially through military strikes. it will do anything it can to stop that. >> thank you all for your time tonight. appreciate it. that is it for a very special
edition of all in. we will see you back here tomorrow at our normal time, 8:00 p.m. eastern. good night. >> as recently as yesterday morning, president obama was expected to persuade the american public and members of congress to support his call for an american, punitive military strike. since then, just in the last day, syria has said it will declare its chemical weapons arsenal for the first time ever and sign on to cooperate in an international effort to declare and hand over and destroy their chemical arsenal. developments change expectations for president obama's remarks. with no advance excerpts leaked to the press, rare forny