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King Calls Obama's Oval Office Speech 'Pitiful,' De Blasio Praises President

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- While Mayor Bill de Blasio is voicing his support for new gun control laws proposed by President Barack Obama in the wake of the recent terror attacks in Paris and California, other lawmakers have stinging criticism for the president's plans to eradicate Islamic terrorists.

In an address to the nation Sunday night, Obama declared the mass shooting in California an "act of terrorism" and said the threat against the United States has now entered a new phase.

In just his third Oval Office address, Obama said this new phase of terror seeks to "poison the minds" of people in America and around the world, like the couple that carried out the San Bernardino attack -- who he said weren't under any direct orders from a terror group.

"The president's speech was pitiful -- he doubled down on failure," Rep. Peter King told CBS2's Marcia Kramer.

A grim assessmment of Obama's Oval Office speech to the nation in the wake of the San Bernadino massacre.

King, a member of the Homeland Security Committee, said the president offered no new solutions, no new steps to decimate isis terrorists or protect the nation.

"He did nothing to aleviate the concerns and anxieties the American people have," King added. "It was only his third speech from the Oval Office. I was expecting somehting -- if not dramatic at least something -- that would ashow a change a reversal of policy."

Obama's plan to fight that threat includes more gun restrictions here at home and more airstrikes abroad.

"The threat from terrorism is real, but we will work to overcome it," Obama said. "We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tried to harm us."


Earlier Monday, de Blasio praised the speech saying, "I think he spoke a lot of truth that needed to be spoken. The president pointed out we need to be muscular in our approach to ISIS overseas – we need to disrupt and ultimately destroy them – but we need to keep our internal cohesion. We can't have Americans turning against Americans because then we're doing ISIS' bidding."

"New Yorkers stand behind the president in his efforts to fight ISIL and protect this country from terrorism," de Blasio said. "New Yorkers will not allow terrorists to win by succumbing to fear and hatred."

Obama spent 13 and a half-minutes trying to convey the message that the U.S. is up to the task of fighting terror, just four days after the mass shooting in San Bernardino and less than a month after the Paris attacks.

To keep events like that from happening again, Obama said Congress should give him explicit authorization to continue air strikes against ISIS. But in a new CNN/ORC poll, the majority of Americans -- 53 percent -- say the U.S. should send ground troops to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

King noted that American war planes return from bombing missions with two-thirds of their bombs still on board because of restrictions placed on when they can be dropped, Kramer reported.

Kind said Obama needs to send more Special Ops troups to the area -- about 10,000.

Sen. Charles Schumer didnt attack Obama, the leader of his own party, but he does think the United States should be doing more to take the fight to ISIS on their own turf, Kramer reported.


The president also asked for "stronger screening" for those entering the U.S. without a visa, though he stresses this battle is not with any religion.

"We cannot turn against one another by letting this be defined as a war between America and Islam," Obama said. "That too is what groups like ISIL want, let's not forget that freedom is more powerful that fear."

The president also called on Muslims in America to confront radical Islam without excuse.

When New Yorkers were asked if they thought Obama was doing enough to protect them, the responses were mixed.

"No absolutely not," Frank DeFeo of Bay Ridge told Kramer. "I don't think he's putting enough energy into it."

"I know a lot of peole are not happy with what he said ... not doing enough. He didnt say enough but maybe he's not saying because why do we have to announce it to the world?" said Karen Coronado of Washington Heights.

King also took issue with the president's call for an end to "Islamaphobia." He called it a false issue, claiming there are four times as many anti-Semitic incidents in this county than anti-Muslim incidents, Kramer reported.

King said the government should step up its surveillance in Muslim communities.



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