Obama Doesn’t Think Bill Kristol’s Bomb-First Idea Is ‘Smart’

The White House whacked Bill Kristol — not by name — on Friday for calling on the U.S. to bomb the Islamic militant group ISIL in Syria whether or not it’s part of a larger strategy.

Spokesman Josh Earnest invoked the conservative pundit’s idea, unprompted, and said President Barack Obama doesn’t believe it’s “smart.”

“The Pentagon is still developing military options for the president, for the commander in chief, to use against ISIL in Syria. There are some who probably would make the case that it is okay to not have a formulated comprehensive strategy, but just as one pundit I know recently suggested that we could just go drop some bombs and see what happens. That is not what the president believes is a smart approach,” Earnest told reporters. “The president believes it is important for us to pursue a comprehensive strategy where military action is one component of that strategy.”

Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard, said earlier this week: “You know, why don’t we just [bomb]? We know where ISIS is. What’s the harm of bombing them at least for a few weeks and seeing what happens?”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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