White House tries to reassure over security as 34 state governors block Syrians being accepted into US

Wednesday, November 18, 2015
By Paul Martin

President Obama accused them of demonizing ‘widows and orphans’
‘I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric that’s been coming out of here during the course of this debate’
He said Congress should consider passing stalled legislation that would authorize the United States’ military actions in Syria before it bans refugees
White House held 90-minute conference call with anti-refugee governors; 34 have raised concerns about Syrians in wake of Paris attacks

By Francesca Chambers, White House Correspondent
18 November 2015

President Barack Obama said yesterday that the U.S. must be ‘vigilant’ about protecting the homeland and cannot become ‘complacent or lulled into thinking somehow that we are immune from these kinds of attacks.’

But, he said, some of the rhetoric he’s hearing about Muslim refugees is ‘offensive,’ and it serves as a ‘potent’ recruiting tool for ISIS.

‘First, they were worried about the press being too tough on them during debates. Now they’re worried about three-year-old orphans. That doesn’t sound very tough to me,’ Obama said, blasting Republicans after a meeting with President Benigo Aquino in the Philippines.

The White House has been making efforts to calm dozens of U.S. governors, most of whom are Republicans, who have expressed wishes to block Middle Eastern refugees from entering the country.

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