President Barack Obama is being criticized for sending conflicting messages
in the same press conference on dealing with the Islamic State (ISIS), but two prominent Republicans say it's Obama's off-the-cuff comments that reveal what he really thinks.
Obama said in opening remarks to reporters Wednesday that the U.S. goal was to "degrade and destroy" ISIS. But while answering questions later, he said the goal was to diminish ISIS to a "manageable problem."
"It's very confusing. The president seems to be a definite maybe," Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah said Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."
As soon as Obama goes off his teleprompter, he changes his answer, Chaffetz said.
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, appearing on the same program, agreed.
It "reflects the triumph of ideology over your scriptwriters, because they told him what to say: degrade and destroy," Bolton said. "But then when he got a chance to answer questions, what came out was what he actually believes. He does believe you can make it a manageable problem because it's a law enforcement issue, it's not a war."
Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken tried to harmonize his boss' conflicting statements, telling CNN's
Anderson Cooper that ISIS will first be diminished to a manageable problem, and then, over time, will be destroyed.
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