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In Paris aftermath, Fiorina, Santorum blame Obama, Clinton for ISIS’ rise

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, addresses the Sunshine Summit in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 14, 2015.
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, addresses the Sunshine Summit in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 14, 2015. AP

In the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, 2016 Republican presidential candidates Carly Fiorina and Rick Santorum lashed out at President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, blaming them for the rise of ISIS.

Fiorina, speaking at the GOP Sunshine Summit in Orlando Saturday, said she was “angry” because Obama and Clinton have miscalculated the ISIS threat.

“Mostly I am outraged because the murder, mayhem, danger and tragedy we see unfolding in Paris, throughout the Middle East and, too often, in our own homeland, are the direct consequence of this administration’s policies,” she said. “You cannot lead from behind.”

Fiorina added that “just yesterday hours before the Paris attacks began and against all the evidence, President Obama declared ISIS ‘contained’ and took a victory lap.”

Obama, in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that was taped Thursday and aired Friday, said he didn’t think ISIS was gaining strength. But he added that more needs to be done to “completely decapitate” their operations.

“From the start our goal has been first to contain, and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq. And in Syria it – they’ll come in, they’ll leave,” Obama said. “What we have not yet been able to do is to completely decapitate their command and control structures. We've made some progress in trying to reduce the flow of foreign fighters.”

Fiorina, a former business executive, charged that Obama and “Hillary Clinton declared victory in Iraq in 2011, abandoned all our hard-won gains for political expediency and contrary to the advice of our generals, thus leaving vast swaths of territory and too much weaponry to be gobbled up by ISIS.”

Santorum had harsh words for Obama and Clinton, too. In Sunshine Summit talk, the former senator from Pennsylvania said “Barack Obama is either misinformed, dishonest, delusional, or all three” when it comes to foreign policy.

“ISIS is a creation a creation of a political decision by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to abandon Iraq,” he said.

“If I were president now, I would be launching a major offensive against ISIS right now,” Santorum said.

He added: “If they (ISIS) want to form a 7th Century caliphate, I say let’s oblige them and bomb them back to the 7th Century.”

William Douglas: 202-383-6026, @williamgdouglas