Top GOP rep: Obama 'waffling' on ISIS threat

Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) blasted President Obama on Tuesday for not having a “coordinated plan” to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

On CNN’s “New Day,” Turner was asked whether he would support U.S. airstrikes targeting ISIS in Syria, but he didn’t state his position.

“I think what the administration needs to do is come forward with a plan. They have no coordinated plan. We have no stated goals and objectives. The administration has inconsistent statements as to whether or not they see ISIS as a threat to the west or the United States,” said Turner, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee. 

Turner said British Prime Minister David Cameron has clearly articulated the threat from ISIS, unlike Obama. 

“This administration seems to be waffling on what the threat is and how to approach it,” Turner said. “So it’s very difficult over how to galvanize the American public or certainly Congress behind the administration without a strategy in play.”

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Obama has only authorized “haphazard military action” in Iraq, Turner said, adding that is neither a strategy nor plan and “can only result in more difficulty.”

Turner avoided questions about what plan he would support and instead repeatedly slammed Obama for not having one himself. 

The Republican, however, said Obama has “enough authority militarily currently to take action” when asked whether he should seek congressional approval for further action.

Asked if it’s worth giving support to Syrian President Bashar Assad, Turner said that would be “jumping way far ahead.” 

“I’d be incredibly surprised if the president in turning to our military would have then come back and say we have no other options but to partner with Assad," he said, adding that Obama should garner support from U.S. allies instead.

Turner suggested Obama gather his national security team to produce a more coordinated strategy. The congressman quoted Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, who last week said ISIS is an “absolute threat” to the U.S. 

Dempsey, however, downplayed the idea Sunday that ISIS poses a direct threat to the homeland.