Joe Sestak Doubles Down on Statement That ISIS is 'Almost Out Of Gas'

December 11, 2015

Democrat Joe Sestak, a retired Navy admiral running for Senate in Pennsylvania, refused to back down on his statement from last year that ISIS was "almost out of gas."

During a town hall in Philadelphia on Thursday that focused on Sestak's strategy to defeat ISIS, he was asked by an attendee why voters should trust Sestak's strategy going forward if he was so "clearly wrong" about the group.

"You talk a lot about strategy, right? Um, last year on MSNBC, you said ISIS was running out of gas," said the questioner.

Sestak immediately made clear that he had no plans to back down from the comment, saying that he "repeated that right here."

When Sestak was told that he was "clearly wrong," he again defended himself.

"Not at all. No, that's not right," Sestak explained. "Notice what I said today, is they were out of gas because they had met the very last—the best of the forces of Baghdad. And so they said stop, we couldn't go anymore, and so now they hunker down and started to build their state."

Sestak added that he is not "always right," but that he was in this case "because they had been stopped."

Sestak's initial comment came as Sestak was on MSNBC in June 2014 praising President Barack Obama's "prudent" strategy to fight back against ISIS. He said that Obama has correctly "recognized that ISIS, this rebel force, is almost out of gas."

Obama has been criticized for stating that ISIS is "contained" and has had this point of view rebuked from both within his own party and his own administration.