Fox News Sunday Panel Slams Obama’s Foreign Policy: ‘The Underestimator In Chief’

In the wake of the U.S. military launching air strikes to combat ISIS militants in northern Iraq, the entire panel on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace had some harsh words for President Obama’s foreign policy.

While the entire panel that appeared on Sunday, August 10 agreed that Obama has mismanaged the threat ISIS poses to the Middle East, Ron Fournier of National Journal had the strongest rebuke of Obama when he charged that “he's been the Commander in Chief or the underestimator in chief.” [See video below.]

The segment began with Jackie Kucinich of the Washington Post expressing her dismay at the lack of acoherent strategy by the Obama administration to deal with ISIS: 

I think it's striking that there's no end date to these strikes. That the president, it was kind of vague, and I think that was on purpose so they could potentially expand this later. I also think Benghazi is looming very large here.

Conservative radio talk-show host Laura Ingraham continued to criticize Obama’s foreign policy:

The American people really have no appetite for America to re-engage. They didn’t want us to go into Syria. Obama did want go into Syria. That red line was crossed, we couldn’t go in. The American people said no. The British people said no. After Iraq and Afghanistan, our own country, middle class struggling. What are we going to do, what are we going to accomplish? He's reacting to that, but he also as the Washington Post pointed out yesterday, he's now I think reluctantly seeing the perils of inaction. 

Perhaps the harshest condemnation of Obama came from an unlikely source, Ron Fournier, who routinely supports the administration’s agenda, but this time was quick to slam the president for dismissing ISIS:  

This is a president who underestimated ISIS, he called them JV. He underestimated what was going to happen after Libya, he said that in the New York Times article. He underestimated Putin. He underestimated several other areas. He's been the Commander in Chief or the underestimator in chief. So I don't want him to underestimate. 

We can't afford the president to underestimate this threat. I also don't want him to overreact. We have done that before and it kind of got us into this mess. So you’re right. It's an awfully tough thing to do. I wish I was more confident that the president really understood the threat to our homeland though. 

See relevant transcript below. 


Fox 

Fox News Sunday w/ Chris Wallace

August 10, 2014

CHRIS WALLACE: We asked you for questions for the panel and we got this on Facebook from Bruce Stultz. He writes “I'm happy we're helping those on the mountain, but to think that limited military strikes are going to make a difference is silly. You go in to win or don't go in at all.” Jackie, I mean, that seems to be, and we heard this in the debate between Senators Cardin and Senator Graham, what's our mission there, is it too much, is it too little? How do you answer Bruce? 

JACKIE KUCINICH: I think it's striking that there's no end date to these strikes. That the president, it was kind of vague, and I think that was on purpose so they could potentially expand this later. I also think Benghazi is looming very large here. I think particularly with the American consulate in Erbil. If that falls, then they have a humanitarian crisis that's even bigger and the problem of getting personnel out, so there are a lot of things. It makes sense what the administration is doing right now. As far as putting boots on the ground, the president’s hand was forced even starting these air strikes, I think. I don't think he really wanted to go into Iraq again. So this is a first step. We'll see what happens. 

WALLACE: Well, Laura, it was clear to anybody who was watching on Thursday night that this president really didn't want to do what he was doing. Really didn't want to go back into a combat situation. Even from the air in Iraq. Wasn't happy about doing it, and was trying to come up with a very carefully calibrated, limited policy. How did he do? 

LAURA INGRAHAM: I think it's really hard. I don't think you can judge how he did right now. We're almost in an impossible situation, right? The American people really have no appetite for America to re-engage. They didn’t want us to go into Syria. Obama did want go into Syria. That red line was crossed, we couldn’t go in. The American people said no. The British people said no. After Iraq and Afghanistan, our own country, middle class struggling. What are we going to do, what are we going to accomplish? He's reacting to that, but he also as the Washington Post pointed out yesterday, he's now I think reluctantly seeing the perils of inaction. 

If we do nothing here, then what? I mean, let’s say Iraq does fall, which I think is a possibility. Iraq may fall, if indeed there are no boots on the ground, not going to happen, can't happen. That's very empowering to ISIL. Right? If they know American troops are not going to be on the ground at all, and I'm not saying I want them here, then they know they get an artillery position hit as they did yesterday and then they flood back in, which is what happened yesterday. They have that hydroelectric dam right now. If ISIL decides to flood much of southern Baghdad, can reach all the way to Baghdad, that in and of itself would be devastating. 

And we should also remember, about 3 million Christians lived in Iraq in peace. We’re talking about the Yazidi’s they need help, desperate in need of help. Christians have been suffering in Iraq for several years now. And I think our government, even the Bush government, hasn't done enough to protect those religious minorities as well. This inattention to what's happening on the ground in Iraq has been going on for some time. I don't know if there's a good solution right now, which is a horrible thing to say for the United States of America. 

WALLACE: Ron, as I pointed out with General Keane, we're literally hitting one artillery piece, one convoy at a time. Does it make sense to have such a limited mission, such a limited role or should we either be doing more or should we either be doing less? 

RON FOURNIER: I don’t know. I think we're missing the big question here. First it's hard to admit this, but our country was not honest about how it got into Iraq and not smart about how it got out of Iraq. We can’t do anything about the former so let’s talk about the latter. I think as you say the president is doing what most of the Americans want right now, something very limited. Let’s save those people on the mountain, let’s save our people on the ground. Something that's very strategic. The problem is this is a very ruthless, strategic, well-funded group of terrorists. I even hate to say the world group, of terrorists. 

WALLACE: It’s a state. It’s got a government. It’s got an army. 

FOURNIER: That’s mission is to take us out. We're going to get hit. They're coming after us and we're going to get hit if we don't figure out how to stop them. So short term, yes, the president is doing fine. Long term, this is a president who underestimated ISIS, he called them JV. He underestimated what was going to happen after Libya, he said that in the New York Times article. He underestimated Putin. He underestimated several other areas. He's been the Commander in Chief or the underestimator in chief.

So I don't want him to underestimate. We can't afford the president to underestimate this threat. I also don't want him to overreact. We have done that before and it kind of got us into this mess. So you’re right. It's an awfully tough thing to do. I wish I was more confident that the president really understood the threat to our homeland though.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.