Obama says GOP incitement on Syria refugees 'needs to stop'

President Barack Obama
Posted at 10:10 PM, Nov 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-17 22:10:00-05

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - President Barack Obama is accusing Republicans who oppose allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. of being scared of widows and orphans. He says the political posturing "needs to stop."

Obama is addressing calls from GOP leaders for an immediate, temporary closure of America's borders to Syria refugees. He says those Republicans "think they're so tough."

Obama says he's open to ideas for enhancing the screening process but adds that's not what's happening in the political debate. He says the idea of only allowing Christian Syrians to enter runs contrary to American values.

He says rhetoric like that is a potential recruitment tool for the Islamic State group.

Obama says the screening process is rigorous. He says the U.S. isn't well served by decisions based on hysteria or exaggeration of risk.