President Obama is again excoriating Republicans for raising concerns about Syrian refugees setting in America after the terrorist attacks in Paris.
In a press conference in the Philippines on Tuesday, he continued the anti-Republican narrative he set on Monday by mocking Republicans for talking tough, but running scared from widows and orphans.
“First, they were worried about the press being too tough on them during debates. Now they’re worried about three-year-old orphans,” he said. “That doesn’t sound very tough to me.”
Obama appeared personally disturbed by political conversation going on back in the United States, condemning Republicans for contributing to ISIS recruitment with their skepticism.
“When individuals say that we should have a religious test and that only Christians — proven Christians — should be admitted — that’s offensive and contrary to American values,” he said. “I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric that’s been coming out of here during the course of this debate.”
He defended the screening process conducted by law enforcement officials, calling it the “most rigorous process conceivable.” His biggest concern, he said, was that the screening process took 18-24 months, and that America was already criticized for taking to long to accept refugees.
If Republicans had better ideas for screening refugees, Obama suggested, they should speak up rather than stoke the fears of the American people.
“They’ve been playing on fear in order to try to score political points or to advance their campaigns,” he said. “And it’s irresponsible. And it’s contrary to who we are. And it needs to stop, because the world is watching.”
Obama also lectured the media, calling the refugee debate an example of how the American people were “not being well-served” by their focus on the issue.
“[W]e are not well-served when, in response to a terrorist attack, we descend into fear and panic,” he said. “We don’t make good decisions if it’s based on hysteria or an exaggeration of risks.”
After concluding his rant, Obama turned to Philippines President Benigno Aquino and smiled.
“Sorry, Mr. President, I had a lot to say on that one,” he said.