NBC’s David Gregory had some unpredictably harsh words for the White House during an interview with Senator Dick Durbin on Sunday, noting that “a big, expansive terrorist threat that has amassed” under President Obama’s watch.
The “Meet the Press” host spoke with the Illinois Democrat over the limited air campaign ordered by the president to blunt the advance of ultra-violent jihadists in northern Iraq. Gregory requested the senator’s insight as to how the United States found itself again involved in the region.
“Is the problem that the Obama administration — wanting to be something other than President Bush — got out of the business of confronting terrorism on a big, global scale and just dealt with it in a more limited way?” he asked. “Is it an underreaction to the terrorist threat?”
Durbin tried to steer the conversation specifically back to Iraq, but Gregory cut him off. “I’m talking about the terrorist threat!” he said. “I’m talking about fighting terrorism.”
“The Obama team said, ‘We are not in the business of a global fight against terror, we’re fighting al-Qaida in limited forms,” the NBC host continued. “This is a big, expansive terrorist threat that has amassed on his watch.”
Durbin suggested the United States had no real ability to affect the strength of global Islamic terrorism.
“There’s no question that this ISIS threat in Syria and in Iraq is growing and troublesome,” he said. “The big question is, what can the United States do to stop it?”