Monday, September 29, 2014

Obama says US 'underestimated' rise of ISIS, admits 'contradictory' Syria policy

    Monday, September 29, 2014   No comments

The following is a script of "President Obama" which aired on Sept. 28, 2014. Steve Kroft is the correspondent. L. Franklin Devine, Maria Gavrilovic and Michael Radutzky, producers.

Last week was a long and momentous one in the presidency of Barack Obama. On Monday, he began a bombing campaign with members of an international coalition against ISIS and other terrorist targets in Syria, while continuing airstrikes in northern Iraq. On Wednesday, he addressed the United Nations and laid out his case in the strongest terms for international action against Muslim extremists. By Thursday, his anti-ISIS coalition had grown to more than 60 members, ranging from the Saudis, Jordanians, Emiratis and Europeans who flew missions, to the Irish and Swedes who wrote checks, to the Bulgarians and Egyptians who wished us well.

On Friday, he was back in the White House where he met us in the Diplomatic Reception Room for a conversation that ranged from terror networks to the American economy.

Steve Kroft: A lot of things going on in the world right now. A lot of them bad. You run into people on the street and they say the world is falling apart. You got Syria. You've got Iraq. You've got Ukraine. You've got Ebola. Is this the most difficult period of your presidency, the biggest challenge of your presidency, this period we're in right now?

President Obama: It's a significant period. But if you think about what I walked into when I came into office, we had not only two wars still active, but we also had a world financial system, which was becoming unraveled. And we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. So you know, we've had challenges before. And we've overcome them. That's not to downplay the serious challenges that we do face right now, mostly internationally.

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