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Obama on Paris: “Not Interested” in “Slogans” About American Leadership

Facing tough questions from the media about his administration’s handling of the threat from ISIS, President Barack Obama dismissed criticism of his strategy and insisted that his approach to the threats was correct, CBS reported Monday.

At a press conference at the conclusion of the G-20 summit of world leaders, Mr. Obama said that the U.S. would amplify but not change its course on ISIS.

“There will be an intensification of the strategy that we’ve put forward but the strategy that we are putting forward is the strategy that ultimately is going to work,” the president said at the G-20 summit in Antalya, Turkey. “It’s going to take time.” …

He resisted suggestions that the U.S. should exercise more military force and pushed back against his critics who argue for a larger U.S. ground force in Iraq and Syria.

After being asked by ABC’s Jim Avila whether the United States should adopt a more aggressive approach to fighting ISIS, Obama dismissed concerns by stating that his critics were relying on “slogans.”

We’ll do what’s required to keep the American people safe. And I think it’s entirely appropriate in a democracy to have a serious debate about these issues. If folks want to pop off and have opinions about what they think they would do, present a specific plan. If they think that somehow their advisors are better than the Chairman of my Joint Chiefs of Staff and the folks who are actually on the ground, I want to meet them. And we can have that debate. But what I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning, or whatever other slogans they come up with that has no relationship to what is actually going to work to protect the American people, and to protect people in the region who are getting killed, and to protect our allies and people like France. I’m too busy for that.

A video of Avila’s questions and the president’s complete answer is embedded below.

Avila’s question was followed up by Jim Acosta of CNN, who bluntly asked the president, “Why can’t we take out these bastards?” The president remained firm, insisting, “It’s important for us to get the strategy right and the strategy that we are pursuing is the right one.” Acosta’s question and Obama’s answer are embedded below.

[Photo: Washington Post / YouTube ]