MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle said Monday that President Obama’s physical absence and lukewarm rhetoric after the Paris attacks is causing the American public to fear that their country is "leaderless."
"He's been out of the country for 10 days, and certainly out of the loop in terms of the daily conversation here in this country," Barnicle said.
Obama has received criticism for being physically absent in recent days, leaving the U.S. for a 10-day trip to Asia hours after the attacks in Paris occurred. He has also been criticized for failing to take command of the War on Terror, choosing to aim fiery words at Republicans rather than the Islamic State in one of his first public appearances after the Paris attacks.
"There's a very thin line between anxiety and fear, and the country, I think, is filled with anxiety that is now crossing over into fear," Barnicle said. "I think a lot of people feel we’re leaderless in terms of confronting the global war on terror."
Obama has also been called out for under-estimating the IS threat, once dubbing the terror group a "J.V. team," while acknowledging in June that the U.S. does "not yet have a complete strategy" for fighting the organization. In an attempt to harden his rhetoric Sunday, Obama called those behind the Paris attacks "a bunch of killers with good social media."
This sort of rhetoric, Barnicle said, has not allayed the public's fear or reassured the American people that their president is leading.
"I think a lot of people want to hear from Barack Obama," he said.