House Republicans Say Constituents Are Strongly Opposed to a Syria Strike

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from The New York Times,

Representative Tom Cole started hearing it in the morning when he went to grab coffee.

“I was just at Starbucks, and a woman there recognized me,” the six-term Republican House member told a Chamber of Commerce gathering here. “She said, ‘Everybody here’s a no on Syria.”

Mr. Cole would seem a potential candidate to support President Obama on Syria. A pragmatic Congressional veteran, he has been open to compromise with the White House in the past and is not afraid to break with House conservatives. But after portraying himself as leaning against the strike, Mr. Cole on Thursday afternoon came down firmly in the opposition when his office issued a statement announcing that he will vote no.

Given the intensity of opposition in his district, he said it would take a “road to Damascus experience” to change his mind now.

“I literally cannot walk across the parking lot without being stopped to talk about this issue,” he said. “I haven’t seen anything quite like this.”

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