President Obama addressed the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, where he paid tribute to murdered U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and continued to hail the Arab Spring, despite many of those same countries now aflame in deadly rioting.
Two comments are drawing more attention than any others, however. After days of edging away from blaming most of the recent Mideast chaos on an obscure Internet video critical of Muhammad, Obama again spent considerable time denouncing a video that he says spawned the outrage that led to scores of deaths, including those of American diplomats in Libya. The president later said the video was no justification for the violence and he defended America's right to free speech. But later in the address, Obama said, "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."
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Rep. Steve Palazzo, R-Miss., is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He says Obama is coming "full circle" by once again denouncing the video at such great lengths. He also fired back on Obama's denunciation of any speech critical of Muhammad, saying that Americans are increasingly the ones being denied the right to free speech. He also slammed the administration for infringing upon the First Amendment rights of our fighting men and women, who are no longer allowed to share their faith.
Palazzo also believes the venue for Obama's speech was appropriate.
"I think it was definitely fitting that he did it at the U.N.," said Palazzo, "because like the U.N., this administration has often relied on words that sounds good but they aren't backed up by any meaningful action or strength."
Rep. Palazzo also scolded the president for planning to go forward with massive defense spending cuts at a precarious time in world events. Palazzo said responsible spending cuts and getting our economy going again will put the nation back on much better footing without gutting our military.