White House Blames Media For Obama 'No Strategy' Comment
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest took great lengths to explain why President Obama’s comment about having no strategy to defeat the Islamic State in Syria.
“I don't want to put the cart before the horse,” Obama said during his press conference yesterday. “We don't have a strategy yet.”
Earnest acknowledged that he responded quickly on Twitter to clarify Obama’s “no strategy” statement after the press conference, after it was clear that the media was using his comment as the focal point of their stories.
Later Earnest went on CNN to further clarify Obama's comments.
“The reaction was not in response to the president's comments, it's in response to the way it was being reported,” Earnest stated, although he was careful to note that his comment should “not a critique of the media” but just an “observation.”
“We listened to the president's news conference, watched your reporting and recognized that if we wanted people to have a very clear understanding of what the president was trying to communicate, that we needed to engage you directly to do that,” he explained.
Earnest said that Obama was merely pointing to his military strategy in Syria, not a strategy to defeat ISIS as a whole. He did confirm, however, that Obama was still developing a strategy.
“The Pentagon is developing plans or military options for the president to consider if he decides that it's necessary to do so,” he said. “But at this point, the president hasn't made any decisions and hasn't ordered any military action in Syria.”