February 18, 2015 1:16 PM
WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley would like to see President Barack Obama act like Jordan’s King Abdullah II when dealing with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, the TNT analyst was asked who he would like to meet today and he answered with the Jordanian king. When asked why, Barkley said it was the actions he took in response to ISIS burning alive captured Jordanian pilot Muath Al-Kaseasbeh on video.
“Because I think his actions when they burned that kid alive, I thought his actions were heroic. He was like, ‘No, you cannot do that to my people.’ I wish President Obama was like that sometimes. I do. I think that is the way we have to treat ISIS,” Barkley told Sports Illustrated. “We can’t keep thinking it will go away. I thought it was heroic what Abdullah did.”
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The Obama administration has struggled to match its stated strategy for fighting IS and other Islamic extremist groups with the realities on the ground in Libya, Yemen and other Mideast hotspots. The president has sent war authorization legislation to Congress to take on ISIS in Iraq and Syria, which has largely been criticized by Republicans.
Barkley also said in the interview he might be leaning toward voting Republican in the 2016 presidential election.
“I am paying close attention to the political situation. I have always voted Democratic. But I like some of the Republicans this time around,” Barkley told Sports Illustrated. “I like Chris Christie. I like Jeb Bush. I like those guys.”
Barkley then laughed when asked what he thought about Hillary Clinton.
“Well, I just told you I was thinking about voting Republican,” Barkley said laughing.
Barkley added that he was disappointed with how the New Jersey governor initially said that parents should have some choice on whether to vaccinate their children, and then his office backtracking the statement by saying the governor believes “with a disease like measles there is no question kids should be vaccinated.”
“But I was very disappointed in Chris Christie the other day on the measles thing. It is a shame that these guys are afraid of just answering the question and trying to make everyone agree with you,” Barkley said. “ … I’m like, dude, your opinion is just your f****** opinion. I don’t understand why you answer a question and think everyone is going to agree with you. You can’t live your life like that.”