Liberal commentators from The New York Times and The Washington Post expressed alarm over President Obama’s admission that “we don’t have a strategy yet” to confront ISIS, with Times columnist Nicolas Kristof saying “he’s got a problem.”
On Friday, liberal guests on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” took their turns savaging the president’s poor messaging at a press conference on the ultra-violent Islamist group the day before.
The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson claimed that the “urgency” of the threat expressed by other White House officials “contrasted with what the president said — or didn’t say.”
“I just want to be clear on that fundamental question,” he said. “Not, you know, when the planes are going to start bombing Aleppo or whatever, not tactical movements. But what’s our end here?”
New York Times columnist Nicolas Kristof got in on the action too. “I’ve generally been a fan of President Obama’s foreign policy,” Kristof noted. “So when I look at a speech and press conference and say, ‘There’s nothing there’ — either vis a vis Ukraine or vis a vis Syria — then he’s got a problem.”
Perhaps the only person trying to defend the president was conservative host Joe Scarborough, who claimed Obama was perhaps trying to push our allies into getting more involved.
But David Ignatius, a well-sourced national security columnist for the Post, wouldn’t take the bait. “I think the president is genuinely confused about how best to respond to this really monstrous outbreak by ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” Ignatius explained.
“Genuinely confused?” Scarborough asked. “Have you ever heard a president state that confusion in a press conference?”
“Well, it was rare,” Ignatius admitted. “It was a disastrous soundbite, because it summed up what people have feared, which is that we don’t have a strategy yet.”