President Obama hit Republican presidential candidates for suggesting military practices he say would serve as "an extraordinary mechanism" for recruitment at a news conference in Buenos Aires with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri.
"When I hear somebody saying we should carpet bomb Iraq or Syria, not only is that inhumane, not only is that contrary to our values, but that would likely be an extraordinary mechanism for ISIL to recruit more people willing to die and explode bombs in an airport or in a metro station. That's not a smart strategy," Obama said Wednesday.
Obama said one reason we haven't seen another attack on American soil is because "we have a extraordinarily successful, patriotic, integrated Muslim-American community."
"As far as what some candidates have said, I think I've been very clear on this," Obama said Wednesday. "One of great strengths of the United States, and part of the reason we have not seen more attacks in the United States, is we have a extraordinarily successful, patriotic, integrated Muslim-American community. They do not feel isolated. Their children are our children's friends going to the same schools. They are our colleagues in our workplaces. They are our men and women in uniform fighting to our freedom."
"Ay approach that would single them out or target them for discrimination is not only wrong and un-American, but it also would be counterproductive because it would reduce the strength, the antibodies that we have to resist terrorism," Obama added.
Obama hit Cruz for calling for a similar practice that caused his father to flee Cuba.
"As far as the notion of having surveillance of neighborhoods where Muslims are present, I just left a country that engages in that kind of neighborhood surveillance which, by the way, the father of Senator Cruz escaped for America, the land of the free. The notion that we would start down that slippery slope makes absolutely no sense. It's contrary to who we are. And it's not going to help us defeat ISIL. "