The White House reacted to criticism from former President George W. Bush regarding President Obama’s policies on fighting terror by suggesting that Bush was responsible for the rise of Islamic State terrorists in the Middle East.
Earnest reminded reporters that ISIS had extensive links to Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
“The fact is that Al-Qaeda was not in Iraq prior to President Bush’s decision to commit significant American military resources on the ground in that country and that is a historical fact,” Earnest said.
Earnest’s claim was challenged by Fox News reporter James Rosen, who suggested that Bush had essentially “vanquished” Al-Qaeda in Iraq before Obama took office.
“The fact is, I’m not sure that it was gone,” Earnest argued, pointing out that the United States would continue working with Iraq and members of the international coalition to root out ISIS .
Earnest added that no one should be surprised by the difference between Obama and Bush’s views on foreign policy.
“In the minds of many people, it’s the principal reason that President Obama is sitting in the Oval Office right now,” Earnest said.