Republicans blast Clinton over remarks on ISIS

Republican presidential candidates lash out at Clinton for welcoming American strategy on ISIS at Democratic debate.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton
Reuters

Hillary Clinton had a nearly flawless performance at the Democratic debate, but on Sunday Republicans used one of her statements about the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group in an attack against her.

"We now finally are where we need to be," Clinton said late Saturday at the debate in New Hampshire.

"We have a strategy and a commitment to go after ISIS, which is a danger to us as well as the region," she said.

"And we finally have a UN Security Council Resolution bringing the world together to go after a political transition in Syria," she said.

But Republicans quickly lashed out, using the first phrase to claim that Clinton seems satisfied with the situation in Syria, where ISIS has carved out a piece of territory under its control.

"No @HillaryClinton - We are not 'where we need to be' in fight against ISIS," Republican hopeful Jeb Bush, who has single-digit support for his candidacy among Republicans, wrote on Twitter.

"Incredible -- honestly, somehow a UN resolution about Syria puts us where we need to be? I think it's a reflection of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama's beliefs that our foreign policy gets set by others," Carly Fiorina, also far behind in the Republican polls, said on Fox News Sunday.

Clinton's response came in the debate at the end of a lengthy exchange with rivals Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley on the proper strategy to adopt in Syria.

Clinton emphasized the need for two simultaneous fronts, one against ISIS group and the other against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

She said that the resolution the UN Security Council adopted Friday should do precisely that, since it provides for a ceasefire, political negotiations, a transitional government and elections within 18 months.

Clinton also said the Syrian anti-Assad rebels will take on ISIS once they are assured that Assad will step down.

Separately, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump blasted Clinton for saying in the debate that he "is becoming ISIS's best recruiter."

According to Clinton, ISIS was "going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists."

Trump lashed out at Clinton on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday insisting that no such video exists and that news reporters have been unable to find one.

"They may make one up, knowing the Clintons and knowing Hillary," he said. "I mean, she made it up. It was a sound bite."

Clinton campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri, interviewed later on ABC, said that her candidate was "not referring to a specific video."

Trump however is "being used in social media by ISIS as propaganda... to help recruiting," Palmieri said.

Palmieri referred to groups that monitor ISIS social media, which she said report that jihadists are "using him as propaganda to help recruit supporters."

Trump recently caused an uproar both at home and abroad when he called for a ban on Muslims entering the country in the wake of the massacre in San Bernardino.

The comments were widely condemned, with White House press secretary Josh Earnest saying the proposal was "disqualifying", and Secretary of State John Kerry claiming last week the comments “endanger national security”.

AFP contributed to this report.




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