President Obama may still harbor ambitions to close Guantanamo Bay, but he faces a difficult path if he wins reelection and decides to pursue the goal in a second term.
Obama declaration last week on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” that he wants to close the military prison drew applause from the young, liberal audience he hopes to will turn out for him on Election Day.
“There’s some things that we haven’t gotten done. I still want to close Guantanamo. We haven’t been able to get that through Congress,” Obama said after Stewart asked about “trading ideals for security.”
Congressional Republicans are skeptical the president was serious about a renewed attempt to close Gitmo. Rather, they suggest he was playing to his liberal supporters in the runup to the election.
“It’s something he’s saying to appeal to his base,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) told The Hill in an interview.
Ayotte, who has been one of the most outspoken Republicans on detention issues, said there was little support in either Congress or public opinion to close the facility and bring terrorists onto U.S. soil.