Former President Bill Clinton believes President Obama will be judged based on his strategy to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) and other extremist groups in the region. Clinton speculated Obama would garner support for his strategy to “degrade and destroy” ISIL because the American people want the executive to appear strong.

“I think that the American people generally tend to judge the president by whether we are more secure and look strong, so I think they do support what he’s decided to do,” Clinton said.

The former president said he agreed with Obama and most Americans on keeping U.S. ground troops out of the conflict. Clinton noted ISIL would prefer the U.S. fight with ground troops. “[Obama] hasn’t been suckered into that,” he said.

Clinton added that it was evident the Obama administration’s strategy would receive backlash. “[Obama] had certain elements of the media and Republican Party who were always against him,” Clinton said.

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