President Barack Obama dismissed Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson’s comments on Syria and eliminating the Islamic State terrorist state in a Thursday interview with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, saying the retired doctor “doesn’t know much about it.”
Stephanopoulos asked: “What do you think when you hear Ben Carson get up at the debate and say, ‘This would be easy. We can take ISIL just by bombing their oil fields.’ That’s what a general told him.”
His question — which was met with chuckling from Obama — referenced only a part of Carson’s rambling debate answer about Mideast policy. Carson also claimed the Chinese were in Syria, which has been widely dismissed, including by the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Administration on Friday. Stephanopoulos did not ask the President about Carson’s Chinese claim.
“What I think is he doesn’t know much about it,” Obama said.
“Look, George, I think it’s fair to say over the last several years I’ve had access to all the best military minds in the country and all the best foreign policy minds in the country, and I’m not running for office,” Obama said. “So my only interest is in success.”
“If I’m down in the Situation Room talking with people who have worked in these regions and have run major military operations — from the chairman of my Joint Chiefs of Staff (Gen.) Joe Dunford to individuals like Gen. (John) Allen, who was involved in Iraqi operations back in 2007 and 2008 — and they don’t think it’s easy, then it’s probably not easy,” Obama said.
Watch the interview, from ABC, below. Obama’s comments on Carson start at 1:48: