Geraldo Denounces 'Squishy' Obama's 'Malignant Wishful Thinking'

Fox News Channel's Geraldo Rivera unleashed on President Obama on Monday's Hannity, after the American leader doubled down on his strategy against ISIS at a press conference earlier in the day. Rivera bluntly stated that "the President's feelings are way too squishy for me," and that "this is malignant wishful thinking on the President's part." He later contended that "to compare them to any organization, other than the Taliban before 9/11, is really sophomoric." [video below]

Host Sean Hannity turned to Rivera, who was reporting live from Paris, and who had recently reunited with his daughter, Simone, who was attending the soccer game that was one of the targets of the Islamist terrorists.  Hannity first asked, "Tell us the latest — what's going on on the ground?" The correspondent immediately replied with his "way too squishy" label of the President, and continued, in part, that Paris is "a resilient ancient city. It's been through a lot....It is now gradually coming back to normal, but it's so, so traumatized. There's no doubt about it."

The right-leaning host followed up by pointing out how "the President said 'contained.' A little over a year ago, he called ISIS 'the J.V. team.'...won't say 'radical Islam;' 'workplace violence' — Fort Hood. There's something pathological. This president seems incapable of recognizing an enemy that has declared war against us. I mean, you and I agree on this!" He then wondered, "Why is he [Obama] so off so often?"

Rivera answered with his "malignant wishful thinking" reply, and underlined that "ISIS is different than any organization we have ever been against — even al Qaeda. Why is it different? It's different because it is a nation state. It is a de facto country....to compare them to any organization, other than the Taliban before 9/11, is really sophomoric. The President has to deal with the fact that we are at war with a de facto nation, and we have to use all of the power that the United States possesses to prevent this from coming here."

Fox News military analyst Colonel David Hunt, who appeared during the same segment as Rivera, complimented the journalist moments later: "We're not winning the war. And, by the way...really glad and relieved that Simone is safe, and that Geraldo got to go over there. I couldn't say it any better than what...Geraldo just said...politically, this is embarrassing and wrong."

The transcript of the relevant portion of the Geraldo Rivera segment from the November 16, 2015 edition of Fox News Channel's Hannity program:

SEAN HANNITY: It has been just days since Islamic jihadists with ties to ISIS carried out a series of deadly terrorist attacks in Paris; and predictably, President Obama is already lecturing the world on how ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. Really? Watch this.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (from press conference): ISIL does not represent Islam. To the degree that anyone would equate the terrible actions that took place in Paris with the views of Islam, those kinds of stereotypes are counterproductive. They're wrong. They will lead, I think, to greater recruitment in the terrorist organizations over time, if this becomes, somehow, defined as a Muslim problem, as opposed to a terrorist problem.

HANNITY: Joining us now to respond — he's on the ground in Paris tonight — Geraldo Rivera. Also with us, Fox News military analysts Colonel David Hunt and Lieutenant Colonel Bill Cowan.

Geraldo, we start with you. I heard your very emotional reaction. Your daughter was in the stadium when all this was going down. Tell us the latest — what's going on on the ground?

GERALDO RIVERA: Well, let me just say, the President's feelings are way too squishy for me. Let me get back to the President's remarks that you just played, if I may, Sean. I just left Simone — we had dinner together. It was very nice. She's calming down. You know, obviously, this has been a traumatic experience for her.

On the way here, we drove past the Eiffel Tower. You should see this landmark, Sean. It is emblazoned in the red, white, and blue national colors of France — our oldest allies — and it has the motto of Paris on it in lights: 'The ship rocks, but never sinks'—

HANNITY: Yeah—

RIVERA: And I think that sums it up; that says it all. This is a resilient ancient city. It's been through a lot. This the worst violence to afflict Paris since World War II—

HANNITY: Geraldo—

RIVERA: It is now gradually coming back to normal, but it's so, so traumatized. There's no doubt about it, Sean.

HANNITY: Hours before this attack, the President said 'contained.' A little over a year ago, he called ISIS 'the J.V. team.' This is just a 'setback;' 'man-caused disasters;' 'overseas contingency operation' — won't say 'radical Islam;' 'workplace violence' — Fort Hood. There's something pathological. This president seems incapable of recognizing an enemy that has declared war against us. I mean, you and I agree on this!

RIVERA: It seems to me—

HANNITY: Why is he so off so often?

RIVERA: It seem to me — this is — right, I get it. This is malignant wishful thinking on the President's part. ISIS is different than any organization we have ever been against — even al Qaeda. Why is it different? It's different because it is a nation state. It is a de facto country. They have the dirt; they have the ground; they have the infrastructure — schools and banks and oil wells. And it is — to compare them to any organization, other than the Taliban before 9/11, is really sophomoric. The President has to deal with the fact that we are at war with a de facto nation, and we have to use all of the power that the United States possesses to prevent this from coming here. You've heard that ISIS has said that Washington, D.C. is coming up next, Sean.

HANNITY: Yeah. You know — and Colonel Hunt, I'll ask you: it's — it's worse than sophomoric, because the President has doubled down in taking Syrian refugees into this country, in spite of our State Department; our national intelligence director; our FBI director; and so many people involved in the security of this country telling him it's impossible to vet the people that he wants to take in — the refugees from Syria — and that ISIS and al Qaeda will infiltrate the refugee population. How do we possibly keep the nation safe if the President won't listen to these people?

COL DAVID HUNT, FOX NEWS MILITARY ANALYST: Well, we can't.  And [Ben] Rhodes, who is his assistant national security advisor, on five different shows yesterday and Sunday, lied about that very thing — said we can aggressively vet them. We're not winning the war. And, by the way, glad — really glad and relieved that Simone is safe, and that Geraldo got to go over there. I couldn't say it any better than what—

RIVERA: Thank you, Colonel. Thank you. Thank you, Colonel—

HUNT: Than what — what Geraldo just said: the President — we cannot win this war — and I know we don't get to do this, because it's not — I don't do — I do the war on terror stuff — but politically, this is embarrassing and wrong. We cannot win with the President who — the guy who stood there in Turkey and answered questions, within 30 hours after Paris, in that kind of denial. We've already got enough problems fighting this war incorrectly. But if that — right now, we don't have the leadership to even get started. This is going to take serious leadership to pull a coalition together to get at what Geraldo just said.

NB Daily Foreign Policy Africa Libya Europe Iraq Middle East Syria War on Terrorism Liberals & Democrats Fox News Channel Hannity Video ISIS ISIL Geraldo Rivera Sean Hannity Barack Obama
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