Hillary Clinton’s Republican opponents are slamming her for saying at the Democratic debate on Saturday night that the US is “finally where we need to be” in the fight against the terrorist group ISIS.
The Democratic presidential front-runner asserted that the US is on the right track with its strategy, even as the world is on high alert after multiple ISIS-linked terror attacks hit Western countries in recent months.
Clinton touted the strategy to “go after ISIS,” as well as UN Security Council resolution forged last week to bring about political transition from the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“We now finally are where we need to be,” Clinton said at the debate. “We have a strategy and a commitment to go after ISIS. … And we finally have a UN Security Council resolution bringing the world together to go after a political transition in Syria.”
Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called that “happy talk” in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
“With dead bodies in Paris, dead bodies in San Bernardino and no plan from this administration to deal with it, we’re finally where we need to be?” he asked. “Mrs. Clinton is ‘Mrs. Happy Talk,’ and she just wants to happy talk her way to the presidency.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), who is also seeking the Republican nomination, joined in the criticism.
“The vast majority of Americans understand that this threat is not under control. In fact it continues to grow in both scope and sophistication,” Rubio said in an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning.
“And she’s talking about how we have a plan. What exactly is — how is that plan any different than what we had in place a month ago or two months ago when the president was claiming that ISIS was contained and then a few days later they attacked Paris and less than a month later they attacked San Bernardino or at least had a terrorist attack in San Bernardino?”
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, another Republican presidential candidate, responded on Twitter as the debate was unfolding and hammered his point home with subsequent tweets on Sunday:
Other Republicans — including former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) — also jumped into the fray.
Clinton communications director Jen Palmieri went on “This Week” on Sunday to defend Clinton’s comments on the ISIS fight as well as another controversial statement the former Secretary of State made about Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.
“She was not saying we are where we need to be on ISIS,” Palmieri said, citing two recent policy speeches Clinton has given about national security.
“… What she was referring to is the fact that we are in a much better position in terms of dealing with Syria and the political transition that we hope to see there from the UN Security Council voting on Friday to start a new process on political transition there. … That’s a really important development.”
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