Presidential Candidates React to Obama's Address on Terrorism

Monday, December 7, 2015

As President Obama declared in a rare Oval Office address to the nation on Sunday night that last week's mass shooting in San Bernardino, California was an "act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people," Republican presidential candidates were quick to weigh in.

GOP frontrunner Donald Trump appeared to dismiss the speech entirely:

Even before the president spoke to the country, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has seen his poll numbers rise in recent weeks, offered a pre-buttal of sorts.

"The President should resist using terrorist attacks to try to take away the rights of law-abiding Americans," Cruz said in a statement. "Millions of Americans have chosen to protect themselves and their families by purchasing a firearm. This is their right; indeed protecting their families is their obligation. The President should be looking to stop those who would do us harm -- not attempting to take away the constitutional liberties of millions of innocent Americans."

But in his address, Obama did call for stricter gun safety measures.

"Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semiautomatic weapon?" Obama asked in his remarks. "This is a matter of national security. We also need to make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons like the ones that were used in San Bernardino."

In an interview on Fox News, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio called for a "substantial ground army" to take on the Islamic State.

"You can't just defeat them from an air perspective," he said.

He added: "Nothing we heard in that speech tonight will assuage people's fears."

Ohio Gov. John Kasich was equally blunt.

"The President's strategy is not enough. Without taking the fight to ISIS on the ground, ISIS won't be defeated," he said in a statement. "Since February I've been calling for a coalition to do that. We must stop delaying and do it."

Related Topics