Surprise: ABC's Raddatz Slams Obama for Mocking ISIS Threat as Guys in ‘Pickup Trucks’

ABC’s post-State of the Union coverage featured a number of predictably liberal takes on Tuesday, but some opposing viewpoints were able to break through with one criticism being chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz slamming the President’s characterization of many ISIS fighters as “guys in pickup trucks” because those same men “still are in charge of Mosul in Iraq” and “huge swaths in Syria.”

Discussing the speech just over five minutes after it concluded, chief anchor George Stephanopoulos posed to Raddatz questions about how the President chided the GOP-led Congress for not giving him “an authorization to use force” on ISIS and while Raddatz agreed, she made clear that the President’s foreign policy deserved plenty of blame.

Raddatz ruled that while Obama lashed out at “the over the top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands,” he has a “problem” because “he has underestimated ISIS in the past.”

>> Find all of NewsBusters‘ coverage of the State of the Union here <<

After Stephanopoulos briefly interjected to further lead Raddatz toward a “reality check on the previous markers of progress,” Raddatz emphasized that “[t]here are certainly markers of progress,” but:

[W]hen he talks about those pickup trucks and he talks about the groups of ISIS running around in those pickup trucks, don't threaten our national existence, well, those men in pickup trucks tonight still are in charge of Mosul in Iraq. They are still in charge of huge swaths in Syria. 

She then concluded: “Yes, there's progress, he’s already — but there's not enough progress yet and you still have those large swaths of the country, and safe havens for ISIS right now.”

The relevant portions of the transcript from ABC’s coverage of the State of the Union 2016 on January 12 can be found below.

ABC’s State of the Union 2016
January 12, 2016
10:15 p.m. Eastern

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And America the final year, Martha Raddatz, still mired in conflicts overseas, again, as I said, the president seemed so impassioned when he spoke against the idea that America is weaker and that had direct challenge to Congress on ISIL, he said, “if you feel so strongly about this, give me an authorization to use force.”

MARTHA RADDATZ: And authorization of military force, you’ll have Republicans — Speaker Ryan said to a group of reporters this morning that it didn't have what was necessary in his AUMF draft because he didn't talk about committing large ground forces and they thought that would tie the hands of his successor. Also, talking about ISIL, when he said, the over the top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands. He was trying to walk that line tonight between taking it seriously and not scaring people. The problem is, he has underestimated ISIS in the past. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: But that’s just what I was going to ask you about? How about a reality check on the various markers of progress he said we've been making overseas in Iraq and Syria over the last year?

RADDATZ: There are certainly markers of progress, but when he talks about those pickup trucks and he talks about the groups of ISIS running around in those pickup trucks, don't threaten our national existence, well, those men in pickup trucks tonight still are in charge of Mosul in Iraq. They are still in charge of huge swaths in Syria. Yes, there's progress, he’s already — but there's not enough progress yet and you still have those large swaths of the country, and safe havens for ISIS right now.

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center