WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Chuck Todd warns that President Barack Obama could be on the verge of doing “Jimmy Carter-like damage” to the Democratic Party over his foreign policy.
The moderator for NBC’s “Meet the Press” said on MSNBC Wednesday ahead of the president’s address to the nation that Democrats could be in trouble as a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll finds that only 32 percent of voters approve of Obama’s handling of foreign policy – a new all-time low.
“It’s actually impacting the entire party. We did some issue testing between you know, who handles which issues – Democrats, Republicans. We took out Obama. Republicans lead by 38 points on the issue of ensuring a strong national defense. He’s on the precipice of doing Jimmy Carter-like damage to the Democratic brand on foreign policy,” Todd told “Morning Joe.”
The poll shows that Republicans hold a 54 to 16 percent lead on Democrats on which party ensures a strong national defense.
Todd called Obama’s address a “tipping-point moment” on how to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terror group.
“He’s in an easy moment if he can step up on something he said he doesn’t like doing, which is the theater of the presidency,” Todd said. “He needs to have a strong performance in the theater of the presidency tonight because the country seems to be demanding it.”
Top Obama advisers told CBS News that the president will announce the next phase of operations against ISIS in Iraq, but it’s not yet known if his speech will contain plans to go after the terror group in Iraq.
The president met with congressional leaders at the White House Tuesday evening, telling House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that he has the authority to take on ISIS.
“The president told the leaders that he has the authority he needs to take action against ISIL in accordance the mission he will lay out in his address tomorrow night,” the White House said in a statement to CBS News. “He reiterated his belief that the nation is stronger and our efforts more effective when the president and Congress work together to combat a national security threat like ISIL.”
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., stated on the Senate floor that Obama should seek congressional approval if he plans on starting a war against ISIS.
“I don’t believe that the president has the authority to quote ‘go on offense and wage an open-ended war without congressional approval,’” Kaine said. “How much of a sacrifice is it for a president to engage in a possibly contentious debate with Congress about whether if military action is a good idea.”
McConnell echoed Kaine’s sentiments while speaking with reporters.
“This is a matter of extreme importance to the country, to our national security,” McConnell said. “It would be to his advantage, and all of our advantage, for Congress to be, in effect, approving a plan for defeating ISIL.”
The terror group ISIS has carved out a swath of territory in both Iraq and Syria. They recently killed two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, releasing videos of their beheadings.
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