Rick Perry, Rand Paul tweak Obama over 'strategy' comments
August 29th, 2014
05:59 PM ET
4 months ago

Rick Perry, Rand Paul tweak Obama over 'strategy' comments

(CNN) - Two potential Republican presidential candidates didn't hold back Friday when railing against President Barack Obama for saying he and his advisers "don't have a strategy yet" for dealing with ISIS in Syria.

At a Dallas event hosted by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky ripped into the President, saying it was an example of a lack of leadership.

"Yesterday, the President admitted that he had no strategy to deal with ISIS. Now that may come as a surprise to some," Perry told the audience, using sarcasm. "But it is not a surprise to our allies and to our adversaries around the world."

Perry argued the country needs a president who isn't "lurching from crisis to crisis" and isn't "always playing catch up."

"Presidential leadership is needed now more than ever. ISIS is not the junior varsity," Perry continued. "Mr. President, the peace of the free world requires presidential decisiveness, not dithering and debating."

Paul sought to contrast Obama with former military leaders.

"Do you think General Patton had a strategy before he went to battle? Do you think Douglas MacArthur had a strategy before he went to battle? How about General Eisenhower, do you think he had a strategy…You know what I think? If the President has no strategy, maybe it's time for a new president," he said.

Obama told reporters Thursday that his administration is still developing its plan on tamping down the growing threat from the militant Islamist group that has roots in Syria and Iraq. Obama said he "will continue to consult with Congress" on the issue.

"But I don't want to put the cart before the horse," he said. "We don't have a strategy yet."

Following the press conference, Republicans quickly seized on the President's comments as evidence of what they consider his failed foreign policy and weakness on the world stage.

Attempting to clarify Obama's position, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the President "was asked a specific question about what approach he was going to pursue when it came to possible military action in Syria" against ISIS.

"That was the specific question he was asked, and the President was explicit, that he is still waiting for plans that are being developed by the Pentagon for military options that he has for going into Syria," Earnest said, adding that "the President has been very clear for months about what our comprehensive strategy is for confronting" the ISIS threat in Iraq.


Filed under: President Obama • Rand Paul • Rick Perry • Texas
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Democrat Junk

    Somebody pull the Presidents foot out of his mouth.

    August 30, 2014 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  2. Bill from GA

    For the record, General Patton, Douglas MacArthur and General Eisenhower had the support of most Americans when fighting WW2. They didn't have half of the country or more trying to tear down everything they did for the country. They had Congress working to solve problems. They recognized Americans' right to choose a leader and worked with that leader rather than try to destroy him for the possible gain of their party.

    Those were different times, when people cared more for their country than their political agenda. Yahoos like Perry and Paul, publicly criticizing the President with each crisis, would not have have been tolerated.

    August 30, 2014 05:42 am at 5:42 am |
  3. Paulocaesar

    Oh now Rick Perry's offering advise on ISIS too.
    Why not just stick to shuttn down government departments you can't seem to remember.

    August 30, 2014 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  4. @RI_Roger

    You know the comment has to true when the Press Secretary is up early in the morning doing all the early morning news shows unscheduled and unannounced. All that effort and he still couldn't persuade the American people the President something different than what he actually said. Once you lose credibility, it's very difficult to get it back..... such goes the saying; Liar, Liar.

    August 30, 2014 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  5. J Anthony

    A petty attempt to turn everything the guy says into a negative. Sensiible people understand context. Fanatics and zealots do not.. When there is a cohesive strategy, how smart would it be to broadcast it to the world? But the simple-minded who like to get riled up with the help of tools like Perry will eat it up...

    August 30, 2014 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  6. J Anthony

    @gunderson slagg: your drivel about the national debt is typical of the ignorance most people display when it comes to our monetary-system. Debt is the latest tool for imperial expansion, the new slavery. Global financiers and inter-locking corporations are increasingly supplanting governments on the world stage. Where territories were once captured by military might, today they are being annexed by debt. This usurious, destructive practice must be fought against. As long as our money-supply is created as a debt to private bankers, the nation's wealth will continue to be siphoned off into private vaults, leaving (artificial) scarcity in its wake. We are in debt for something we have the sovereign right to create ourselves.

    August 30, 2014 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  7. Marie MD

    I like that our President is honest enough to know that you don't shoot first and ask questions later with ISIS. A group that even Al Quaida says it's too extreme?
    Still waiting on those WMDs, signs that we were welcome as liberators and the only mission the shrub #43 administration accomplished was to destabilized that region for decades, if not centuries, to come.
    Perry should be more concerned about maybe not looking that good in prison orange (or whatever color they use in TX). The quack? Who cares. The more he talks the more he sinks in the teaklan quicksand.

    August 30, 2014 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  8. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Blah,blah,blah,blah. Can't wait to see the GOP stuff Jeb Bush down their tea potty throats EXACTLY like they stuffed Romney down. Straight no chaser. Hillary will drink to that!

    August 30, 2014 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  9. just me

    Deliberately taking comments out of context is an old repub trick. Old and tired, but it seems to work on the intellectually lazy.

    August 30, 2014 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  10. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP THE NATIONAL JOKE PARTY , WE WONT PASS ANYTHING AND STILLGET PAID

    Just imagine if either one of these two GOP DORKS were ever elected, the STUPID LEADING the STUPID, BLAND and Rick perry, the key word stupid and their names come up!!!!!

    August 30, 2014 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  11. Longtimer

    Do tell. The Republican policy is?
    Dunces. Every President announces their strategy in advance on CNN, right?
    Sort of like "Mission Accomplished".
    Once again, the ragin' Right has got nothing but whiny girl responses to reality.

    August 30, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. Honestly

    Obama told reporters Thursday that his administration is still developing its plan on tamping down the growing threat from the militant Islamist group that has roots in Syria and Iraq. Obama said he "will continue to consult with Congress" on the issue. "But I don't want to put the cart before the horse," he said. "We don't have a strategy yet."

    The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it. Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath. (Proverbs 29:7-8).

    August 30, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. srf

    I think it's rich that Rand Paul would critic the President Obama for not having a quick strategy when it comes to dealing with Isis . Because his strategy is to do nothing.

    August 30, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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