While it’s expected that Republicans would criticize President Barack Obama for not calling the Islamic State group an “Islamic extremist” group, it is shocking when Democrats join in on the disapproval.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from the president’s home state of Hawaii and combat war veteran, recently said in an interview with CNN, “The administration is misidentifying the enemy and their motivation.” She previously went after the Obama administration over its bombing campaign against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the fall of 2013.
The Republican National Committee used Gabbard’s comments in a new statement saying, “even Democrats ... aren’t buying what the president is selling.” Obama spoke about the criticism on Feb. 18.
“There’s been a fair amount of debate in the press and among pundits about the words we use to describe and frame this challenge. I want to be very clear about how I see it: Al-Qaida and Islamic State group and groups like it are desperate for legitimacy. They try to portray themselves as religious leaders, holy warriors in defense of Islam. We must never accept the premise they put forward,” said Obama.
The administration’s argument is that by calling the terror groups extremists, it gives them more propaganda to use against the U.S. and recruit more soldiers for their army and causes.
The congresswoman disagreed with that belief, saying, “The administration still has not accurately defined our enemy.”
More recently in an interview with Fox News, Gabbard called Obama’s lack of labeling Islamic State “mind-boggling” and said, “It’s really about having a real, true understanding of who our enemy is.”