Dem Rep. Gabbard Rips Obama's Summit Speech: He's "Misidentifying The Enemy And Their Motivation"

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Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii criticized President Obama's speech on terrorism which followed a White House summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). Gabbard told CNN's Wolf Blitzer "the administration is misidentifying the enemy and their motivation."

"I think one of the things that is important to note is that the administration is misidentifying the enemy and their motivation by saying that they are motivated out of materialistic aspirations, that they're motivated out of poverty, of a lack of jobs or education or opportunity and as a result, the courses of action that the administration is proposing are also materialistic in nature, saying that if we just go in and alleviate poverty, if we go in and create jobs and increase opportunity and institute this Western style of democracy, that somehow this is going to solve the problem, when really, that's not the case," Rep. Gabbard said on Wednesday's broadcast of CNN's The Situation Room.

Gabbard has been critical of the president and the administration's approach to understanding what extremism is and how to eradicate it.

In January, Gabbard said President Obama "refuses to recognize" radical Islam is our enemy.

A few days later the Congresswoman said there is "bipartisan concern" over the fact that Obama won't use the term "Islamic extremism" to identify our enemy.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN: Congresswoman, what do you think the president's main message, what do you think of that message and as you know, he still is not saying what you want him to say, talking about radical Islam, Islamic extremism. He's making the case that that would be counterproductive.

REP. TULSI GABBARD (D-HI): Aloha, Wolf. Yes, I think that if you look at some of the conversations that have happened during the summit and the president's speech that we heard just a few minutes ago, still I think it is a diversion from where we need to be focused. If you look at this broad focus on countering violent extremism which is very hard to define, it's a diversion away from the actual threat coming from this radical Islamic ideology that exists not only for the United States but really around the world.

And I think one of the things that is important to note is that the administration is misidentifying the enemy and their motivation by saying that they are motivated out of materialistic aspirations, that they're motivated out of poverty, of a lack of jobs or education or opportunity and as a result, the courses of action that the administration is proposing are also materialistic in nature, saying that if we just go in and alleviate poverty, if we go in and create jobs and increase opportunity and institute this Western style of democracy, that somehow this is going to solve the problem, when really, that's not the case.

We can look to the past and see many different examples of where this has occurred, whether you look at Libya, you look at Egypt, you look at what's being proposed with Syria. In each of these different instances, a dictator has been removed, there has been an attempt to institute a Western-style democracy in each of these cases. ISIS and Islamic extremists are more powerful and presenting a greater threat than they did before. So that's why it's so important that we recognize that these people are being motivated from different parts of the world by a spiritual, a theological motivation, which is this radical Islamic ideology.

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