Tags: Barack Obama | Exclusive Interviews | Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | Steve Malzberg Show | richarson | obama

Bill Richardson: Give Obama 'a Break' About His Vacation

By    |   Thursday, 04 September 2014 05:19 PM

Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson came out swinging Thursday at those who've criticized President Barack Obama for playing golf and going on vacation in the midst of escalating world crises.

"The guy deserves a little time to be with his family. This is the most stressful job in the world … Give the guy a break!" Richardson, a Democrat, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"My God, the guy is on a plane half the time. He's got to deal with Russia, with Ukraine, with the Israeli-Palestinian issue and Gaza. We've never had so many problems at once. Let's give the guy a little break."

Richardson said presidents are always on top of world events, even when they have down time.

"A president when he travels – I was on Air force one with Bill Clinton – you're constantly able to make decisions, you're constantly in touch," Richardson said.

In recent weeks, the commander-in-chief has been under fire for being seen golfing and on vacation while ISIS continues its reign of terror and Russia continues its aggressive military push into Ukraine.

Richardson believes a quick U.S. response to ISIS — which released a video this week showing the execution of a second American journalist — is ill-advised, despite calls from some lawmakers for an immediate action.

"Let's try to build consensus for comprehensive effort to go after ISIS, but do it right, legally and constitutional," he said.

"Let's go to Congress and have a debate on it. The Gulf War debate didn't happen in one or two days. It was several days. Let's do it right, that's all I'm saying."

Richardson, also a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., and former U.S. secretary of energy, said Obama — who last week said the U.S. had no strategy in battling ISIS — is on top of it.
"He said [we will] degrade and destroy, but he also said we're going to do it momentarily, diplomatically and economically," Richardson said.

"The most important message he needs to send when he's with NATO, with our allies, with Arabs, with other potential coalition partners in fighting ISIS, is that we have to do this strategically, correctly and together.

"The president is not a big thumper. He's cool, deliberate, intelligent, rational and he's trying to find a mix of military airstrikes with diplomatic initiatives and with ways that strangle this ISIS group."

Richardson said the U.S. has launched military airstrikes in Iraq, and "they are going to be expanded … I wouldn't underestimate what this president is going to do in terms of being strong on this issue."

He urged Republicans and Democrats to stand united in supporting Obama's efforts to destroy ISIS.

"What is needed more than anything is not the carping and not the partisanship. This is a 9/11 moment. This is like Gulf War moment," he said.

"Republicans and Democrats have to put aside this 'does he have a strategy or not?' and find a way to come together because this is a serious threat.

"They beheaded our people. These are savages, but they are making serious inroads in a very vital region."

Richardson a strong coalition to fight the Islamic State can be a reality.

"The good news is there's a lot of people that hate ISIS — Hezbollah, Iran, Iraq, the Saudis, the United Arab Emirates, and European countries," he said.

"We've got to get the French and the Germans to help us in these military airstrikes … We have this instant gratification that he's got to do it today."

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Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson came out swinging Thursday at those who've criticized President Barack Obama for playing golf and going on vacation in the midst of escalating world crises.
richarson, obama, vacation, golf, break
Thursday, 04 September 2014 05:19 PM
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