U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt criticized the president for his lack of leadership during a stop in Kansas City Tuesday. At the same time, President Barack Obama and French President François Hollande held a joint press conference and called for increased cooperation to fight the Islamic State.
“What happens when the United States fails to provide leadership in the world is bad things and more disruptive things fill that leadership vacuum,” says Blunt.
Blunt has been calling on Obama to put together a comprehensive plan to combat ISIS since the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.
He says until the Islamic State can be contained, it’s imprudent to accept Syrian refugees into the United States.
“The disruption in Syria doesn’t even make it possible to vet people the way you’d normally vet people,” Blunt says.
Blunt says the situation in Syria is too volatile to confirm the stories of refugees fleeing violence and the stakes too high to allow them to come here. Though many governors have said they won’t accept Syrian refugees, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon isn’t one of them.
“The ultimate terrorism is getting people afraid to go about their daily lives,” Blunt says. “An attack on the United States Capitol would be one thing. An attack on a concert, a cafe, a soccer game – exactly the targets in Paris – are the kinds of things I think Americans are appropriately most concerned about.”
Blunt offered his remarks during a pre-holiday tour of Harvesters, the community food bank.
Elle Moxley is a reporter for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.