Tags: Barack Obama | Exclusive Interviews | Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | Steve Malzberg Show | War on Terrorism

Economist Larry Kudlow: Obama Has Correct Strategy on ISIS

By    |   Thursday, 11 September 2014 03:15 PM

Larry Kudlow is no fan of President Barack Obama, but the noted economist and CNBC senior contributor says the commander in chief really got it right in his address to the nation on fighting ISIS.

"I'm almost always a critic of the president on foreign and domestic, economic policy. I know regarding international policies, he has made 1 million mistakes, OK?" Kudlow said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"I just want to say though, I watched him last night, and then I went back and read the speech several times, and I am going to give him credit for a good speech."

Republicans and Democrats in Congress voiced strong pre-election support Thursday for Obama's call on Wednesday for new authority to combat Islamic State militants in the heart of the Middle East.

The president authorized U.S. airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, along with expanded strikes in Iraq as part of "a steady, relentless effort" to root out Islamic State extremists and their spreading reign of terror.

"We will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are," Obama declared in a prime-time address to the nation from the White House. "This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven."

Obama announced that he was dispatching nearly 500 more U.S. troops to advise and assist Iraqi security forces, as well as conduct intelligence and reconnaissance flights, bringing the total number of American forces sent there this summer to more than 1,500.

Kudlow said it appears the commander in chief is "basically going to chase them and bomb them" in Syria.

"That's where the command and control center is, and that's where they have to start, and he's going to keep up the bombing in Iraq, and that is correct," he said. "Thank heavens. It took him a long time to get there, but now he's there and we are going to put a lot more Americans into this."

Kudlow said Obama could be correct in not wanting to commit ground troops to the fight.

"He may be right on that, though I'm not an expert. But make no mistake, what he said last night was we are going to put thousands of special forces in there to guide the Iraqis, to assist in the bombing missions in Iraq and Syria, and he's going after the bad guys," Kudlow said.

He said Obama's no-nonsense speech is a far cry from his past comments about the Islamic State.

"He's been so listless in recent weeks, as though he doesn't care, or he's not involved, and I saw a different guy last night. I saw a guy who was engaged, who seemed to have some passion, who seems to have discovered the right solutions," Kudlow said.

"Whatever his motives may be, he's doing what the experts have wanted him to do, and I back him on this. I want to see what the execution is, I want to see what the follow through is, I want to watch all that very, very carefully."

Kudlow recalled the words of President Ronald Reagan, who said, "Trust but verify."

"That's where I am with Obama. But I support him. In America, it's always better if politics stop at the water's edge," he said.

"This ISIS crowd, to say they're bad guys is an understatement … They're killing Muslims over there, but make no mistake, they're coming after us. They are coming after us, and they are more powerful than the old al-Qaida.

"So we got to stop them, and what I heard Obama say last night is he's going to do everything in his power to stop them. So right now, the day after the speech on 9/11, I support what the president said last night."

Kudlow said he was not surprised at the results of a Gallup poll that found Americans more trusting of Republicans than Democrats to protect them from military threats.

"The president … has been weak, vacillating, and appears to be almost disengaged from the international threats that faced America, and his polls are showing that," he said.

"If the Republicans play their cards right in the next six weeks or so, there is going to be a landslide. A landslide."

But the GOP still has work to do — a lot of it, Kudlow said.

"The message going forward has to be a bold, optimistic vision message. The Republicans are basically asking the voters to give the GOP a two-house majority, which will essentially make it the governing force in Washington, D.C." he said.

"What I'm asking the GOP to do is to create a clear, simple agenda to inform the voters if you give us this authority, both houses, here's what we will do with it. We owe that to the voters.

"Put down, I don't know, five, six, seven major points … on economic growth, on changing Obamacare, on immigration … Show us how we can enhance our oil and energy situation. Show us how we can have a tax reform, which is so important … You got to say to the voters, here's what's wrong, here's how we can solve it, and we can do it quickly."

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Larry Kudlow is no fan of President Barack Obama, but the noted economist and CNBC senior contributor says the commander in chief really got it right in his address to the nation on fighting ISIS.
Larry Kudlow, Obama, ISIS, Iraq
Thursday, 11 September 2014 03:15 PM
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