In a rare Oval Office address, President Barack Obama vowed Sunday night the United States would overcome a new terror threat that seeks to “poison the minds” of people here and around the world, as he sought to reassure Americans shaken by recent attacks in Paris and California.
“I know that after so much war, many Americans are asking whether we are confronted by a cancer that has no immediate cure,” he said, speaking from a lectern in his West Wing office. “The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it,” he declared.
The president’s speech followed Wednesday’s shooting in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 people and wounded 21. Authorities say a couple carried out the attack and the wife pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and its leader in a Facebook post.
Here is a compilation of reactions from Florida politicians to President Obama’s speech.
Jeb Bush: “President Obama has finally been forced to abandon the political fantasy he has perpetuated for years that the threat of terrorism was receding. We need to remove the self-imposed constraints President Obama has placed on our intelligence community and military, and we need to put in place an aggressive strategy to defeat ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism as I have proposed. Unfortunately, neither he nor Hillary Clinton has the resolve to put in place such a strategy. … This is the war of our time. It should not be business as usual. We need a war-time Commander-in-Chief who is ready to lead this country and the free world to victory.”
Ron DeSantis: “President Obama’s speech tonight demonstrates one troubling reality: the Islamic State specifically, and the global jihad generally, will continue to be on the march until we inaugurate a new Commander-in-Chief. The President’s strategy has failed and the American people will remain at risk as a result of his failure.”
Carlos Lopez-Cantera: “Our President is failing us miserably in keeping Americans safe and secure, and his address tonight did not assuage the fears of the American people. He is either in complete and total denial or living in fantasy-land. It is time we recognize ISIS is a threat here on American soil, and be honest with the American people. We must completely eradicate the presence of ISIS. … Radical Islamic terrorists are attacking Americans, yet President Obama’s top priority is to attack American’s 2nd Amendment rights to protect themselves. Tonight, we heard more of the same, with little details. President Obama displayed further evidence that he has no strategy to defeat ISIS, and instead has tried to pass the buck to Congress instead of utilizing the powers available to him as Commander in Chief.”
Todd Wilcox: “The President waited days to acknowledge the savage loss of life in San Bernardino was a terror attack on our country and chose to immediately play the worst kind of liberal political game – that which attacks the rights of law abiding citizens as outlined in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. Last night, he continued those attacks and again failed to provide the leadership needed to eliminate ISIS. Perhaps the American people would be better served if this President put aside his role as head of the Democrat party and instead brushed up on Article 2 of the Constitution which outlines his responsibility as Commander in Chief. … After each shooting spree, liberals always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it. Now more than ever, the American people are desperately seeking leadership. Stripping law-abiding Americans of their Second Amendment right to protect themselves and their loved ones in the face of growing terrorist threats here at home isn’t leadership, it’s the coward’s way out. … Just days after the attack on Paris, I released a detailed blueprint to eliminate ISIS because I, like you, understand that the tragic loss of life and the horrific attacks on our people must come to an end.