U.S. President Barack Obama delivered just his third Oval Office address of his presidency Monday, using the speech to address increasing concerns over Islamic radical terrorism in a nationally televised speech — which, according to some, was another failed attempt at reassuring the nervous nation.
“The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it,” Obama said on Sunday night. “We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tries to harm us.”
The speech came four days after the tragic mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, left 14 people dead. The president called it an “act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people” and pledged to “hunt down terrorist plotters.”
However, since he did not announce any major changes to his plans to fight ISIS — or any important shift in the strategy at all — conservative politicians and local experts were quick to weigh in and give their own two cents on the matter.
Obama: Calls ISIS "jayvee." Admits no "strategy" for ISIS. Calls ISIS "contained." Calls Paris attack a "setback." Tonight? Same strategy.— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) December 7, 2015
America wanted to hear Obama's strategy to defeat ISIS & to keep us safe here at home. Instead we got a gun lecture and speech on tolerance— Eric Bolling (@ericbolling) December 7, 2015
God. Is this guy really going to be responsible for our fight against ISIS for the next year? Political platitudes replace military strategy— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) December 7, 2015
2016 presidential candidates, who are competing to replace Obama at the White House, also took to Twitter to oppose the president’s message and to frame their own viewpoints. Donald Trump waited all of 90 seconds from the speech's end to respond.
The #Obamaspeech was an attempt to turn a necessary discussion on terrorism and national security into a ineffective gun control debate.— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 7, 2015
#Obamaspeech was as believable as a hostage video. Pathetic response to the worst attack on US since 9/11— George E. Pataki (@GovernorPataki) December 7, 2015
The podium in the Oval Office looks odd! Not good, but the words will be the key.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2015
Is that all there is? We need a new President - FAST!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2015
Vintage Obama: No strategy, no leadership. Politics as usual.— Carly Fiorina (@CarlyFiorina) December 7, 2015
President Obama is also overselling the successes we are having on the battlefield. His strategy will not destroy ISIL and he knows it.— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) December 7, 2015
And I will shut down the broken immigration system that is letting jihadists into our country. https://t.co/CpjCljVN5H— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 7, 2015
Nothing President Obama said tonight will assist in either case. https://t.co/gxppI9rQvU— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 7, 2015