President Barack Obama committed U.S. support to fighting and pursuing members of the terrorist group ISIS during a nationally broadcast speech Wednesday night. Now candidates in Utah’s 2nd Congressional district are responding to the speech.
Republican Representative Chris Stewart says while he wishes the president would have acted sooner, he’s relieved Obama has finally gotten serious about confronting the growth of ISIS.
In an op-ed piece by the Utah congressman that appeared in Wednesday’s Deseret News, he says one of the only weaknesses of Obama’s speech was that he didn’t offer up any specific strategies to accomplish that goal. But Stewart says that he has a few ideas of his own on how to accomplish that and it includes using special forces and extending the fight into Syria.
“So I think it’s just essential that we be willing to do that. If we’re going to destroy this organization, you’ve got to hit them where they are the strongest and unfortunately, that’s in Eastern Syria right now,” Stewart says.
Democrat Luz Robles is running against Stewart for Utah’s 2nd Congressional district seat. She also had praise for Obama’s plan of action.
“I think president Obama’s plan had some balance of saying, look, we’re going to be intervening," Robles says. "We need to do something. This is critical. This is a priority for Homeland Security, a priority to protect our American’s abroad, but we need to be also partnering with others, especially on the front lines.
Both Robles and Stewart say they think the key to any strategic plan in the region hinges on Congress’ ability to work with the president beyond partisan squabbling.