"I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric coming out of here in the course of this [US political] debate. ISIL seeks to exploit the idea that there’s war between Islam and the West, and when you start seeing individuals in positions of responsibility suggesting Christians are more worthy of protection than Muslims are in a war-torn land, that feeds the ISIL narrative. It’s counterproductive. And it needs to stop. And I would add, by the way, these are the folks oftentimes who suggest
that they’re so tough, that just talking to Putin, or staring down
ISIL, or using some additional rhetoric somehow is going to solve the
problems out there. But apparently, they’re scared of widows and orphans coming into the
United States of America, as part of our tradition of compassion. Now,
first they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates; now they’re worried about three-year old orphans. That doesn’t seem so tough to me.
"They’ve been playing on fear to score political points or to advance their campaigns and it’s irresponsible. It needs to stop because the world is watching. I was proud after the attacks in Boston took place and we did not resort to fear and panic. Boston Strong. People went to the ball game that same week and sang the national anthem. And went back to the stores and went back to the streets. That’s how you defeat ISIL, not by trying to divide the country or suggest our tradition of compassion should stop now."
President Obama (source
-- I corrected some transcription errors based on other reports)