Source: Huffington Post
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — President Barack Obama is accusing Republicans who oppose allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. of being scared of widows and orphans. He says the political posturing “needs to stop.”
Obama is addressing calls from GOP leaders for an immediate, temporary closure of America’s borders to Syria refugees. He says those Republicans “think they’re so tough.”
“At first, they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of three year old orphans. That doesn’t seem so tough to me,” Obama said, referring to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s assertion that not even refugee children should be allowed into the United States.
Obama says he’s open to ideas for enhancing the screening process but adds that’s not what’s happening in the political debate. He says the idea of only allowing Christian Syrians to enter runs contrary to American values, calling it “offensive.”
He says rhetoric like that is a potential recruitment tool for the Islamic State group.
“I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric that’s been coming out of here during the course of this debate,” he said.
Obama says the screening process is rigorous. He says the U.S. isn’t well served by decisions based on hysteria or exaggeration of risk.
Earlier on Tuesday, White House officials hosted a call with various state governors to field questions about the refugee vetting process, assuring them that it is extensive and that the Obama administration’s chief concern is safety.
Categories: United States