U.S. President Barack Obama said his administration is open to some "legitimate criticism" for failing to adequately explain its strategy to counter Islamic State, though he chided Republican presidential candidates for criticizing his policy without offering an alternative.
In a Dec. 17 interview set to air on NPR public radio at 5 a.m. ET on Monday, Obama attributed his low approval ratings for how he has handled terrorism to the saturation of Islamic State attacks in the media after the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.
Obama noted that the United States has carried out 9,000 strikes against the Islamic State and taken back towns including Sinjar, Iraq from the militant group.
"When you ask them, 'well, what would you do instead?' they don't have an answer," Obama said of Republican candidates he has observed in televised debates.
The interview is one of many recent attempts by the president to ease Americans' fears following the Paris attacks and the shootings by a radicalized Muslim couple in San Bernardino, California on Dec. 2 that killed 14 people.
A national survey by the Pew Research Center found 37 percent of respondents approve of the way Obama is handling terrorism, while 57 percent disapprove, the lowest rating he has received on the issue.
In his year-end news conference before leaving for a two-week vacation in Hawaii, Obama urged Americans to stay vigilant against homegrown threats while not allowing themselves to become terrorized or divided.
"Now on our side, I think that there is a legitimate criticism of what I've been doing and our administration has been doing in the sense that we haven't ... on a regular basis ... described all the work that we've been doing for more than a year now to defeat ISIL," he said, using an acronym used to describe Islamic State.
Asked if he would consider instating a no-fly zone in Syria, as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has suggested, Obama said such a move would not serve to counter the Islamic State since the militant group does not have an air force.
Obama also used the interview to criticize Republican front-runner Donald Trump for exploiting the fear of blue-collar men who have had trouble adjusting to recent economic and demographic changes.
Obama said Trump is exploiting their "anger, frustration, fear."
"Some of it justified but just misdirected. I think somebody like Mr. Trump is taking advantage of that. That's what he's exploiting during the course of his campaign," Obama said.
©2015 Thomson Reuters. All Rights Reserved.
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.
Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!
- Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
- Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
- God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
- Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
- HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!
Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details