U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to CBS News about new troops to Iraq, the recent elections, and immigration reform. Justin Mitchell reports.
President Barack Obama had a lot to say Sunday...but he started with his plan to send 1500 more troops to Iraq. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "What it signals is a new phase. First of all, let's be clear. ISIL is a threat not only to Iraq but also the region, and ultimately, over the long term, could be a threat to the United States. This is an extreme group of the sort we haven't seen before, but it also combines terrorist tactics with on the ground capabilities, in part because they incorporate a lot of Saddam Hussein's old military commanders. And this is a threat that we are committed not only to degrade, but ultimately destroy. It's going to take some time." In an interview with CBS's Face the Nation he was clear about the role of the new troops (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "Our troops are not engaged in combat. Essentially what we're doing is we're taking four training centers with coalition members that allow us to bring in Iraqi recruits, some of the Sunni tribes that are still resisting ISIL, giving them proper training, proper equipment, helping them with strategy, helping them with logistics." The President also revisited last Tuesday's elections, an overwhelming win for the opposition Republicans. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "The buck stops right here at my desk. And so whenever, as the head of the party, it doesn't do well, I've got to take responsibility for it. The message that I took from this election, and we've seen this in a number of elections, successive elections, is people want to see this city work." He also spoke of his plans to take action on immigration, despite warnings from Republican leaders. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "Everybody agrees the immigration system's broken. And we've been talking about it for years now in terms of fixing it." He stressed that he would love to see the Republican Congress take action on its own. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "The minute they pass a bill that addresses the problems with immigration reform, I will sign it and it supersedes whatever actions I take. And I'm encouraging them to do so....on parallel track we're going to be implementing an executive action. But if in fact a bill gets passed, nobody's going to be happier than me to sign it."