President Obama’s address to the nation Sunday night offered Republican frontrunner Donald Trump a rich target, but he hit a bullseye when he shared his frustration at Obama’s insistence in calling the terrorists “ISIL.”
“Wish Obama would say ISIS, like almost everyone else, rather than ISIL,” Trump tweeted.
The Islamic State is generally known as ISIS, referring to Iraq and Syria, but the president has always referred to them as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.
Interestingly, the major difference between “Syria” and “Levant” is the inclusion of modern-day Israel, including the Palestinian-controlled lands, as well as Lebanon.
While some might take Obama’s “Levant” reference to be a slight against the Jewish homeland, could Obama be spinning “ISIL” to avoid mentioning “Syria” as he continues his refugee immigration policy? It wouldn’t be the first time his words were chosen carefully to create illusions for this administration.
In a September interview with Obama, Chuck Todd explained why the conversation carried both references:
“Obviously, we refer to it at NBC News as ISIS,” Todd said. “The Obama administration, the president says the word ISIL. The last ‘S’ stands for Syria. The last ‘L’ they don’t want to have stand for Syria.”
Trump live-tweeted throughout the speech, noting that he’s been saying America should have “gone after the oil years ago,” and “Is that all there is? We need a new President – FAST!”
The billionaire also noted that failed to hear Obama speak the words “radical Islamic terrorists,” although nobody expected the president to say that.
Other GOP candidates joined Trump in criticizing Obama’s speech.
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said via a statement on his website.
On December 7, 1941, in response to Pearl Harbor, FDR did not give a partisan speech, rather he called on Americans to unite and ‘win through to absolute victory.
If I am elected President, I will direct the Department of Defense to destroy ISIS. And I will shut down the broken immigration system that is letting jihadists into our country.
Nothing President Obama said tonight will assist in either case.
Sen. Marco Rubio told Fox News that Obama “may have made things worse,” while former HP CEO Carly Fiorina summed it up nicely, tweeting “Vintage Obama: No Strategy, no leadership.”
Vintage Obama: No strategy, no leadership. Politics as usual.
— Carly Fiorina (@CarlyFiorina) December 7, 2015