FNC's Megyn Kelly and former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen analyze the motive behind the decision not to fly flags at half mast following the Chattanooga shootings. WH Press Secretary Josh Earnest seemed at a loss to explain why, saying that the president would explain at a speech at the VFW today.
MARC THIESSEN: People just lost their dads, their husbands, brothers and sisters. So he is the commander in chief. These people died wearing the uniform of the United States. Under attack from a muslim extremist with an ak-47, who attacked not one but two military installations in the United States. That calls for the commander in chief to do something.
MEGYN KELLY: Why do you think the president has chosen to say very little about this other than "lone gunman" and this is heart breaking.
MARC THIESSEN: I don't think this is what he wakes up in the morning to do, to be the commander in chief, to wage a war of terror.
I think he came into office to end George Bush's wars, not to win them. So he is uncomfortable with the role of commander in chief, the role of fighting this war.
He wants these wars to end, he doesn't want to be the one leading the country in a time of war...
MEGYN KELLY: He is getting hit for not calling this terrorism. The U.S. attorney said we're investigating this as an act of terrorism. But the president wouldn't go that far. His defenders say he is the commander in chief, he should be more judicious in his tone before we know exactly what happened. He shouldn't get out ahead of his skis.
THIESSEN: That might be fair if wasn't for the fact there is a pattern here. He called the Christmas day bomber an isolated extremist. He referred to Benghazi as being over an internet video. So there is a pattern here of downplaying terror.
And I think it is because this is not what he wants to get up in the morning and do. He didn't come to office to be the commander in chief in a time of war. He came to end wars and transform America. He is consistently downplaying the threat. When you downplay terrorism, you can't defeat terrorism. When you don't defeat terrorism, it comes and visits our shores.
Update: Obama orders flags lowered to honor Tennessee victims, after criticism.