Obama on Going to Baseball Game in Cuba: ‘That Is How We Are Going to Defeat’ ISIS

‘They’re not an existential threat to us’

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President Obama argued today that his attendance at a baseball game with Cuba’s Raul Castro “is how we are going to defeat these terrorist groups” like ISIS. The comments came in response to a reporter’s question about the propriety of attending the game instead of coordinating America’s response to the terrorist attacks in Brussels.

“I mentioned at the baseball game yesterday, one of my proudest moments as president was watching Boston respond after the Boston marathon attack, because they taught America a lesson,” Obama explained. “They grieved, I was there for the memorial, we apprehended those who carried this out. But a few days later folks were out shopping. A few days later people were in that baseball stadium and, you know, singing the national anthem, and Big Papi was saying what he felt about Boston, Boston strong, and how a terrorist attack was not going to change the basic spirit of that city.”

“Well, at that moment he spoke about what America is, and that is how — that is how we are going to defeat these terrorist groups, in part because we’re going after them and taking strikes against them and arresting them and getting intelligence on them and cooperating with other countries,” he continued. ”But a lot of it is also going to be to say you do not have power over us. We are strong. Our values are right.”

“It is very important for us to not respond with fear,” Obama added. “We defeat them in part by saying, ‘You are not strong, you are weak.’”

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