CLEVELAND -- Senator Rob Portman says politics has no place in the debate as Congress decides whether or not to support President Obama's call for a targeted strike against Syria for using chemical weapons against its own citizens.

Portman was in Cleveland Tuesday making the keynote address to the Legal Aid Society.

Portman said he needs more specific information about a possible attack and its goals.

"It should be a targeted strike that focuses on something that makes it more difficult for him (President Assad) to use chemical weapons," he said.

He outlined three basic reasons to carry out some sort of appropriate response.

First, it's against decency and international accords.

"This guy gassed some of his own people," he said.

Second, the country must stand behind the commitments of its president, referring to Obama's declaration that use of chemical weapons would "cross a red line."

"That our credibility is not lost as a nation ... we have one commander in chief, and he's our commander in chief now," he said.

Third, it's needed to send a warning to other enemies contemplating similar atrocities.

"You can't do this. It's unacceptable, and if there's no action taken by the international community when one of these atrocities occurs,I think it makes it more likely it will happen again in the future," he said.

Portman said the president must continue seeking support from other European and Mideast countries.

As for the suggestion that politics be removed from this debate, Democrats and Republicans are both for and against supporting the president's proposed military strike.

Senator Sherrod Brown said, "I am encouraged that president Obama will make his case to the American people and seek approval from Congress before taking military action in Syria. We need to build international support around clear objectives for ending the violence against the Syrian people."

"We should not be the world's policeman. Maybe the better analogy is the sheriff who brings the posse together," he said.