Read time: 7 minutes

CNN Host Grills Blackburn Over Claim Obama's Not Being 'Aggressive' Enough Against ISIS

CNN's Ashleigh Banfield let wingnut Rep. Marsha Blackburn twist herself in knots when she pushed her to explain just what she meant when she attacked President Obama for not being "aggressive" enough with ISIS.
Views:

CNN's Ashleigh Banfield ended up leaving the flame throwing wingnut Rep. Marsha Blackburn twisting herself in knots this Wednesday when she tried to pin the Congresswoman down and get her to explain just what she wanted President Obama to do differently if she really believed he wasn't being "aggressive" enough going after ISIS.

Blackburn must have forgotten she wasn't on with Faux "news" and had someone interviewing her that wasn't just going to let her hurl unfounded insults President Obama's way if she wasn't willing to be specific about what she wanted him to do instead.

When pushed as to whether she wanted U.S. combat troops in Syria to go after ISIS, Blackburn weaseled out and said we don't " need 435 people playing commander-in-chief" (someone apparently forgot to tell her that prior to giving this interview) and that Congress should be supporting the president and our command team making the decisions on how to best get rid of this group.

Sure we do Marsha. Right up until the next time someone puts you on television. If Blackburn was pushed like this a little more often, maybe she'd do a few less interviews after she got tired of constantly making a fool of herself. The only thing she cares about is playing attack dog and going after President Obama and fearmongering if she thinks it will keep her in office.

Transcript via CNN:

BANFIELD: Joining me now to talk about the politics behind America's war against ISIS is House Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn who voted in favor of the president's plan to arm and train those so- called moderate Syrian rebels.

Congresswoman, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. I just want to read back something that -- I want to quote from you, an interview that you gave to Nashville public radio in which you said, what we would rather see him do is be more aggressive and more forthright and go after this more full force and not go at it halfway.

But you stopped short in that same interview of suggesting that there should be U.S. ground troops, so I don't know that I understand what exactly is more forceful than the position the president's taking and what the president and the coalition is doing. Can you explain?

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: Absolutely. And one of the things that we do know from listening to command teams, listening to some of the current generals is I think they're leading the president to take a more aggressive position in fighting, defeating, destroying and, in my words, annihilating is and ISIL in any -- and any of these terrorist groups that have sprung up out of al Qaeda.

Now, it would be inappropriate for us to predetermine or to say to the generals and the command team on the field, this is exactly how you're going to do it. What we need to be doing is hearing from them as they begin to make their plans, as they begin to say, this is how we're best going to do this in the most efficient, effective way --

BANFIELD: I hear you. But I'm not sure -- I just don't understand what you're saying. What's more aggressive than 47 Tomahawk cruise missiles, four dozen aircraft, 200 pieces of ordinates -- all of that just in two days.

What's your opinion -- you're saying the president needs to use more force and be more forceful and more aggressively?

BLACKBURN: That's right.

BANFIELD: Using what?

BLACKBURN: Well, let's start with defining the coalition. We're yet to know who is a part of this coalition. We are yet to know what is going to transpire over this period of time.

How long does he expect the air strikes to continue? What is the expectation there of our military? Is he willing to back off of the sequester that has been on the military and is he willing to stop this drawdown of the end strength? How are our military men and women going to be sent forth?

I have a major military post in my district. Whether it's the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell or the Fifth Division or the 160th Special Forces, what they don't know yet is what would be the mission that they're expected to accomplish and what would be the rules of engagement.

Is there going to be a status of forces agreement with Iraq? Who -- the president is the leader of the free world and we need him to speak in that manner and to be able to articulate what is going to a pathway (ph). The details and the specs of that are going to be laid out by the generals. They're going to tell us what's going to be needed.

BANFIELD: Well, when you say that you don't know who this - when you say you don't know who this coalition is, I'm not sure I understand that issue either.

BLACKBURN: We don't.

BANFIELD: Well, we've had five Arab nations all going on the record saying they flew alongside American missions, whether they dropped or supported.

BLACKBURN: Right.

BANFIELD: They're on the record. This isn't guesswork. This isn't sources say. This is, we did this. So what - what do you mean we don't know who the coalition is?

BLACKBURN: We do not know who else is in the coalition and today --

BANFIELD: It's on the map right in front of us right now.

BLACKBURN: Well, and, yes, as those came in and flew those missions, yes, we know that they were participating there. We don't know who this broad coalition that is being billed out, who is a part of that. And that has not been defined for us at this point in time. That is something I think that many of our allies are waiting to hear, who is going to be participating and in what (INAUDIBLE).

BANFIELD: Ms. Blackburn, do you want to see boots on the ground? Do you - do you want to see -- I want you on the record because I know that, you know, unfortunately, Congress can't go on the record actually in Washington right now. You are all off in preparation for the upcoming midterms. But go on the record here, if you would, please. If the air strikes, the campaign that you're seeing right now isn't aggressive enough, in your words, do you want to see American boots on the ground? Is that the aggression you're looking for?

BLACKBURN: I want us to annihilate all of these terrorist organizations and make certain that we rid them -

BANFIELD: Yes, we all want that, but how do you want that to happen?

BLACKBURN: We're going to follow what our command team -- the ones that are in the field that are working, they are in the field --

BANFIELD: And the question is, do you want American boots on the ground in Syria?

BLACKBURN: Let's -- we are going - we are going to see what they tell us. We have given them this harsh (ph) authorization -

BANFIELD: No, no, I'm asking you. You've asked for more aggression than the current airstrikes.

BLACKBURN: Ashleigh -

BANFIELD: And I'm asking you, do you want to make - this is a very simple question for a congresswoman to answer.

BLACKBURN: Ashleigh, it is - it is - no.

BANFIELD: American forces with boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria?

BLACKBURN: No, ma'am. I want you to listen to yourself, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: It's a question.

BLACKBURN: You do not need 435 people playing commander in chief. What you need is members of Congress supporting the command team and the president making the decisions that are going to annihilate and get rid of these territorial (ph) assumptions (ph).

BANFIELD: So I can't get you to - I can't get you to agree one way or the other whether that's a good idea?

BLACKBURN: Because I'm going to support my commanders that are in the field.

BANFIELD: All right, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, thanks so much

for your time. Do appreciate it.

BLACKBURN: Thank you, Ashleigh.

h/t Raw Story


↓ Story continues below ↓

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.