President Barack Obama’s address detailing the White House’s plan to combat the terrorist threat of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant received mixed reviews on Capitol Hill Wednesday as lawmakers prepare to potentially give the president new authorities to strike against the militant group in Syria.
The speech has immediately criticized by some of Obama’s fiercest foreign policy opponents. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz dubbed the speech “”fundamentally unserious” on Fox News. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said “the president really doesn’t have a grasp for how serious the threat from ISIS is” on CNN.
“The President’s plan will likely be insufficient to destroy ISIS, which is the world’s largest, richest terrorist army,” McCain said in a subsequent statement with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
Senate Democrats praised the speech as a good approach to tackling the growing strength of ISIL in Iraq.
Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Obama’s plan was a “forceful strategy.”
“The president tonight laid out a forceful strategy to safeguard our security and that of our allies by rolling back and eventually destroying a brutal extremist group,” the Michigan Democrat said. “The president’s strategy calls for a broad coalition to support Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, and religious minorities as they come together to fight a common enemy.”
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