Obama Dismisses Carson on ISIS: 'He Doesn't Know Much About It'

Friday, November 13, 2015

President Obama dismissed Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson's suggestion that he could eliminate ISIS "fairly easily" if he were commander in chief.

"What I think is that he doesn't know much about it," the president told ABC News' Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview at the White House Thursday. "I think it's fair to say that over the last several years I've had access to all the best military minds in the country and all the best foreign policy minds in the country. And I'm not running for office. And so my only interest is in success."

In Tuesday night's Republican debate, Carson suggested he could defeat ISIS "fairly easily" by bombing oilfields in Iraq.

"I think in order to make them look like losers, we have to destroy their caliphate. And you look for the easiest place to do that? It would be in Iraq," Carson said. "Outside of Anbar in Iraq, there's a big energy field. Take that from them. Take all of that land from them. We could do that, I believe, fairly easily, I've learned from talking to several generals, and then you move on from there."

Asked about Carson's comment, the president noted he receives advise from top military officials who have expertise in the region, and "if they don't think it's easy, then it's probably not easy."

"What we've been able to do is to shape a strategy that first and foremost contained-- the momentum that ISIL had gained," he added, using the government's acronym for ISIS.

But the president admitted more needs to be done to "completely decapitate" their operations.

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