Obama: GOP refugee opponents 'scared of widows and orphans'

Obama: GOP refugee opponents 'scared of widows and orphans'
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President Obama is lashing out at Republican politicians who oppose allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S., accusing them of being "scared of widows and orphans."
 
Speaking to reporters Wednesday morning in the Philippines, Obama scoffed at attempts to block refugees following the Paris terror attacks as "political posturing" that "needs to stop."
 
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"Apparently they are scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America," Obama said of Republicans. "At first, they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of three year old orphans. That doesn’t seem so tough to me."
 
Obama apparently directed his ire at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who said Tuesday he opposes allowing people fleeing the conflict in Syria to resettle in the U.S., even "orphans under five."
 
Christie is one of 28 governors, all but one of whom are Republican, who say they do not want to accept Syrian refugees. The governors are part of a growing wave of opposition to Obama's plan to allow 10,000 into the country in the next year. 
 
The Republican-controlled House is rushing to hold a vote this week to put a temporary hold on resettling Syrian refugees. The plan appeared to gain some bipartisan support, with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) suggesting a pause "may be necessary" pending the result of a classified briefing with lawmakers this week. 
 
Obama defended the screening for Syrian refugees as the "most rigorous process conceivable," hours after White House officials held a conference call with governors to reassure them about the security procedures for refugees. 
 
"We are not well served when, in response to a terrorist attack, we descend into fear and panic," he said. "We don't make good decisions if its based on hysteria or an exaggeration of risks."
 
And the president once again took aim at Republican presidential hopefuls, such as Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPoll: Cruz leads O'Rourke by 3 in Texas Senate race Julián and Joaquin Castro to campaign with O'Rourke in Texas The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump rips 'ridiculous' spending bill | FBI dragged into new fight | Latest on Maryland shooting MORE (R-Texas) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who suggested the U.S. should admit Christian refugees from Syria but not Muslims. 
 
He said that type of rhetoric is "a potent recruitment tool" for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. 
 
"I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric coming out of here in the course of this debate," Obama said, using his preferred acronym for the group. 
 
"When you start seeing individuals in position of responsibility suggesting Christians are more worthy of protection than Muslims are in a war-torn land that feeds the ISIL narrative."
 
It was the second time this week Obama took aim at Republicans over the refugee issue. During a press conference Monday in Turkey, Obama called the idea of a religion test for refugees "shameful" and "not American."