Obama's Comment On Strategy Against ISIS Kicks Up Political Storm

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President Obama said yesterday that speculation about U.S. military action in Syria in the media was getting ahead of the administration, saying, "I don't want to put the cart before the horse. We don't have a strategy yet."

The president was answering a question about whether he would consult with Congress about plans to fight the militant group ISIS in Syria, and he ended the answer by saying that he would when the plan of action ready.

But the phrase, "we don't have a strategy yet," has kicked up a political storm, with Republicans like House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers of Michigan saying to CNN's Wolf Bliltzer, "It was an odd press conference at the very best, but to have a press conference to say we don’t have a strategy was really shocking given the severity of the threat. That’s what’s so concerning to me."

White House press secretary Josh Earnest went on CNN almost immediately after to say that of course the White House has a strategy to confront the group ISIS — he said it's been in place for months and includes political reform in Iraq, working with regional partners and U.S. military action.

Earnest made the point that the president was referring to something specific: "he was referring to military options for striking ISIL in Syria. Those options are still being developed by the Pentagon. They obviously have spent a lot of time working on this and they're still working through it, and it's the subject of some discussion at the White House right now."

But the controversy is dogging the White House today with questions of just what the president was intending with this press conference. ABC News political Director Rick Klein discusses the president's remarks and the controversy with Here & Now's Robin Young.


This segment aired on August 29, 2014.


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