Obama: We Will 'Hunt' ISIS 'Wherever They Are'

Plans policy address on Wednesday
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2014 8:36 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama will address the nation on Wednesday, outlining the threat posed by the Islamic State and his plans for dealing with it on the eve of the 13th anniversary of 9/11. While pledging to "hunt down" militants "wherever they are," Obama tells Chuck Todd in an interview on Meet the Press this morning that the address "is not the equivalent of the Iraq war." "Over the course of months, we are going to be able to not just blunt the momentum of (ISIS). We are going to systematically degrade their capabilities. We're going to shrink the territory that they control. And that's how we're going to defeat them."

The interview, taped yesterday, was pretty wide ranging. Highlights, as per Politico:

  • On criticism over playing golf immediately after giving his statement on James Foley's death: "There’s no doubt that—after having talked to the families, where it was hard for me to hold back tears listening to the pain that they were going through—after the statement that I made, that you know, I should’ve anticipated the optics."
  • On ISIS' messaging ability: "One of the things we’ve seen about (ISIS) is they’re really good on social media. They understand how to message to disaffected youth throughout the Arab world and throughout the Sunni world what they’re doing."
  • On attending the recent NATO summit: "I was reminded once again that not only is America the only indispensable nation. But we perhaps have never been more indispensable. And our leadership is making a difference. And that gives you a lot of satisfaction."
  • On whether he's exhausted: "I actually feel energized about the opportunities that we’ve got. There are days where I’m not getting enough sleep, because we’ve got a lot on our plate. You know, our inbox gets pretty high."

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