Rep. Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas, claimed in an interview on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” radio program this weekend, that President Obama isn’t taking the threat of the Islamic State “seriously” and is doing “nothing” to stop the extremist group because he believes that “America’s not exceptional.”
When Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, the host of the program, asked Smith why the president of Egypt and the king of Jordan are “responding in a more direct and authoritative way to these attacks of ISIS than our own president,” Smith responded, “That is true. Other countries seem to be doing more or taking it more seriously.”
“He was going to ‘degrade and destroy,’” Smith added. “Well, I don’t see any evidence of degrading and I don’t see certainly any evidence of destroying ISIS. Other countries are moving better than we are. And we certainly ought to get other countries engaged without any doubt, but we cannot just sit around and do nothing, all it does is embolden our enemies.”
In reality, the U.S. has conducted the vast majority of airstrikes against ISIS carried out by the U.S.-led coalition combatting the group.
Smith warned that “it would not surprise me if you didn’t see more American citizens subject to some of these killings when they see America doing nothing to try to stop them.”
Later in the interview, Smith said “one might hope” that the president “would be a little bit more responsive and a little bit more assertive and, frankly, trying to assert American power and provide weapons to those who are our allies, for example, or take actions to stop the atrocities that are occurring, or support other nations that are doing more than we are. But the president is doing none of these things.”
“He’s decided in effect that America’s not exceptional, that we don’t have a role to play in the world, and that he’s not going to be concerned about it,” he theorized. “And I think that this is actually a greater danger to our country than almost anything else because it just encourages our opponents and frankly it demoralizes our allies.”