Critics: Obama's Weak ISIS Response Is Dangerous
President Barack Obama said in an interview that the news media overstates the risk of terrorism.
In an interview with the Vox.com, the president said he doesn't blame the media for that because it goes for "sexy" stories, like crime and plane crashes, and terrorism falls into that category.
"If it bleeds, it leads, right? You show crime stories and you show fires because that's what folks watch, and it's all about ratings. And, you know, the problems of terrorism and dysfunction and chaos, along with plane crashes and a few other things, that's the equivalent when it comes to covering international affairs," he said.
Obama also said other stories, like climate change, don't get attention because they're not as easy to keep interesting.
"It's not a sexy story. And climate change is one that is happening at such a broad scale and at such a complex system, it's a hard story for the media to tell on a day-to-day basis," he said.
But the president's comments are drawing criticism that he does not understand the threat of terrorist organizations like ISIS and has no clear strategy of fighting the jihadist army.
Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore told CBN News that the president is not demonstrating strong leadership in the fight against ISIS.
"My concern is the president truly does not understand the nature of this danger. He doesn't understand that this is a guerilla war to try to defeat us by a thousand cuts, that they're going to undermine us piece by piece, little by little, until finally we can't do anything anymore," he said.
Gilmore also took exception to the president's remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast last week, when he compared the Crusades to the atrocities of ISIS today.
Those remarks, the governor said, were designed to divert attention from the groups' brutal tactics and America's role in standing up for righteousness.
"What is important is today and standing strong and not allowing the Christian community to be scapegoated or used as a vehicle for some kind of alternative message of weakness or vacillation," he said.
*Watch all of Gov. Gilmore's comments above.
"I believe America is a force of good for the world," he continued. "And I believe that the Christian community in the United States believes that, too."
"This discussion that he was having at the time of the prayer breakfast seemed to change the subject and did change the subject away from what we really need to be discussing," he said.
Gilmore said he's speaking out because he's outraged by the president's mischaracterization of history as cover to take a softer stance against Islamic terrorism.
He's asking Christians to sign a petition stating they want the administration to show a stronger response to ISIS and radical Islam.
Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, also called on the president to show more strength in the aftermath of the execution of American hostage Kayla Mueller.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Kayla Mueller who was murdered by radical Islamists," Sekulow said in a statement. "President Obama's response is woefully inadequate. His pledge to 'bring to justice' the terrorists who are responsible for Kayla's captivity and death is misplaced and misguided."
"President Obama needs to understand that battling ISIS is not confined to a courtroom - but instead, requires a well-coordinated and aggressive strategy to pursue and destroy the radical jihadists," he added.
"Mr. President, stop telling America we will bring these terrorists to justice," Sekulow said. "Mr. President, it's time to confront and destroy the enemy, not take them to court."