According to Jonathan Karl of ABC News, President Obama’s speech tomorrow will not focus on how he plans to defeat ISIS but provide a defense instead against preventing his already-low poll numbers from drifting further south. “The single-biggest factor in [his sagging numbers] is that a majority say the President has been too cautious in responding to this threat.”
In other words, the people be damned, I’m going to talk about myself. A video of the exchange between Karl and George Stephanopoulos appears below. The transcript follows.
Stephanopoulos: Going to turn to President Obama, preparing to address the nation on his strategy to take on ISIS. Congressional leaders coming to the White House this afternoon as a new ABC News/”Washington Post” poll out this morning shows seven out of ten Americans favor air strikes against the extremist group in Iraq. ABC’s Jon Karl is at the White House with more on what to expect from the President tomorrow. Good morning, Jon.
Karl: Good morning, George. Even more significant in that new poll, is that an equally large number of Americans in this poll support expanding those air strikes Syria. This is a dramatic change of public opinion. Just a couple of months ago, there was deep reluctance to get involved in any way in the Middle East. Now, you see wide concern about the threat posed by a group that’s been beheading Americans, taking over large territory, large amounts of territory in Iraq and Syria. In this poll, 91%—91% said that they see ISIS As posing a vital threat to U.S. Interests.
Stephanopoulos: But the President is not prepared to announce tomorrow night that he is ready to strike Syria with air strikes. And it comes with a time he is facing some real popularity problems. We see 56% of the country disapproving of how the President is handling foreign policy.
Karl: Right and the single-biggest factor in that, is that a majority say the President has been too cautious in responding to this threat. That’s why he’s giving the speech. He’s not going to order air strikes on Syria yet. He is going to make the case that he has a strong approach, a strategy for taking on this group.
Cross-posted at The Lid