Republican Candidates React To Barack Obama's Prime-Time Speech

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
President Barack Obama.President Barack Obama.

President Barack Obama’s prime-time address on Dec. 6 regarding the Dec. 2 massacre in San Bernardino, California, sparked conversations about America's relationship with guns, the nation’s role in combating ISIS and the rise of Islamophobia.

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump was less than impressed, CNN reports.

While live-tweeting the speech, Trump wrote, “Is that all there is? We need a new President - FAST!”

Trump also commented on Obama’s choice to refer to the Islamic State group as ISIL rather than ISIS.

“Well, Obama refused to say (he just can't say it), that we are at WAR with RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISTS,” he added in another tweet.

Trump wasn’t the only candidate to slam Obama’s remarks. The president's comments on gun control and reaching out to Muslims came under fire from several Republican presidential hopefuls.

During his speech, Obama urged Americans to show compassion towards Muslims, saying that ISIS wants to spread mistrust and terror.

“Let's make sure we never forget what makes us exceptional,” he said near the end of his speech. "Let's not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear."

“We have always met challenges … by coming together around our common ideals as one nation, as one people,” Obama added.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida ridiculed Obama’s advocacy for Muslim Americans.

"Where is the evidence that we have widespread discrimination against Muslims?” he said, adding that Obama was "completely overwhelmed” by the threat of terrorism. 

In a statement, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said Obama’s push for tighter gun control laws was “unfortunate.”

"Putting aside the absurdity that numerous ordinary, law-abiding Americans are mistakenly included in the no-fly list, we should [note] that both of the terrorists had a clean record and would not have been affected by the President's proposals to outlaw gun purchases by those on the list,” he said.

Democratic contenders former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont have not commented on Obama’s remarks.

Sources: Donald Trump/Twitter, CNN (2) / Photo credit: YouTube screenshot