Obama decries critics who 'pop off' with opinions on Islamic State

obama at turkey summit
Posted at 11:21 AM, Nov 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-16 11:21:00-05

ANTALYA, Turkey - President Barack Obama is sending a message to critics he says "pop off" with their opinions about the U.S. campaign against the Islamic State.

He says they should present a specific plan. And if his critics think their advisers are smarter than Obama's, the president says, "I want to meet them."

Obama says his sole interest is in keeping the American people safe. He says he's not interested in doing what works politically or will make him or America look tough.

Some Republican presidential candidates have called on Obama to send U.S. ground troops into Syria. Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz have said that any U.S. assistance to Middle Eastern refugees should focus primarily on Christians fleeing persecution.

Ben Carson recently said he had information on China's involvement in Syria. Obama officials said they had no evidence of that. Carson expressed surprise that "my sources are better than theirs."