Meet The Press moderator Chuck Todd said Wednesday that President Barack Obama is “on the precipice of doing Jimmy Carter-like damage to the [Democratic] Party.” Todd’s remarks, made on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” came ahead of Obama’s Wednesday night address to the nation about the dangers of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Obama’s weakness on ISIS thus far, Todd explained, has done some real damage to the president’s approval rating.
“It’s not just him. It actually is impacting the entire Democratic Party,” Todd said. “We did some issue testing between who better handles which issues: Democrats or Republicans? Took out Obama. Republicans lead by 38 points on the issue of ensuring a strong national defense. 38! He’s on the precipice of doing Jimmy Carter-like damage to Democratic brand on foreign policy, if he’s not careful.”
But in this case, Todd continued, Obama’s “not trying to rally the nation. The nation’s wanting him to come to his side. So he’s in an easy moment if he can step up on something he said he doesn’t like doing, which is the theater of the presidency. He needs to have a strong performance in the theater of the presidency tonight, because the country seems to be demanding it, they’re almost, they’re begging him.”
“And the moment is these beheadings,” Todd emphasized. “One of the things that we found in this poll. Think about all the controversial stories we’ve covered in the last five years. This is the single most-followed story in the past five years.”
Obama will speak at 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday night to lay out the U.S.’s strategy for combatting ISIS.
Obama will reportedly ask Congress for permission to approve arming the Syrian rebels, as well as increased airstrikes against the barbaric terrorist group.