U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said Friday that President Barack Obama was "too slow" to recognize that Americans need to know more about what is being done to stop the Islamic State.
"I think if you’re the president and you’re getting national security briefings every minute and your military are running a very complex program to try to deal with ISIS, it’s easy to think, okay, we got this," Whitehouse told RIPR.
Also a Democrat, Whitehouse said Obama will need to do more to reassure the public.
"I think he’s going to have to continue to explain what is going on to the American people so we have a very strong sense that our military, who we are very proud of, are all being deployed in effective ways."
Whitehouse spoke after a New York Times/CBS News poll showed Americans are increasingly concerned about terrorism. The same poll found growing support for Republican Donald Trump among Republican presidential primary voters, even though Trump has been widely criticized for comments that Muslims should be kept out of the country.
"He has a very, very significant lead," Whitehouse said, noting that the poll includes only a small percentage of the overall population.
"Everybody I know who is a Republican who I have spoken to about this have said that they are gravely concerned about what this means for their party."
Tune in to RIPR's Morning Edition on Monday, December 14th for part II of our interview, where Whitehouse discuss his role in crafting a major new piece of education legislation and why he believes it will reduce the role of standardized testing.