The Republican Party released an ad Wednesday attacking Democrats on the issue of defeating the Islamic State by pouncing on a number of recent controversial statements by President Barack Obama, Sec. John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton.
The RNC used voiceovers from the three Democrats speaking about the Islamic State to push their point that the administration does not have a plan to defeat the terrorist organization. The GOP charged Democrats for being weak on foreign policy, insisting their policies are putting America’s national security at risk. Footage of Islamic State jihadists training in the desert offered a stark contrast from the rhetoric Democrats were using.
"This cannot be an American fight," Clinton said during a Democratic debate.
"I don’t think they are gaining strength," Obama said the night of the coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. "What is true is that from the start our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them."
The GOP hit the Democratic field, specifically Clinton, for refusing to say "radical Islamic extremism," a phrase that still makes many on the left squeamish. Last week, Democrats released an ad hitting Republicans for "inciting fear" by using the term "radical Islam."
Included in the RNC’s ad was Kerry’s much-maligned statement in Paris, where the secretary of state used the word "legitimacy" to describe the rationale behind the Charlie Hebdo attacks, insinuating the terrorists were provoked.
"There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of–not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that," Kerry said.
The video ends with a simple question directed to its audience: "Can Leaders Like These Keep Us Safe?"
A CBS poll released Monday morning found a majority of Americans do not trust the president to defeat the Islamic State. Two-thirds of the country said Obama does not have a clear plan for the crisis in the Middle East.