BEAVER DAM -- Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday, November 25th delivered his most pointed criticism of President Barack Obama since he ended his own presidential bid, questioning the president's leadership in dealing with terror threats.
Walker blasted Obama while defending his own plans to keep Syrian refugees out of Wisconsin. The president plans to accept up to 10,000 Syrian refugees fleeing from violence caused by ISIS, the terrorist group that claims responsibility for the November attacks in Paris that killed at least 129 people.
Governors of 31 states have announced they do not want the federal government to relocate refugees in their states, citing concerns that the terrorist group ISIS will try to infiltrate the process. The governors can't legally block the refugees from entering their states, but Walker has directed state agencies not to provide services to them.
"You want us to believe you've got this under control when the president himself said ISIS was contained and then, hours later, there was an attack on Paris?" Walker questioned. "How did they not know about that? What kind of intelligence do we have that doesn't allow the president to know that there's a threat on a major global city like Paris?"
Walker announced his intentions last week, when he had no public events and was not available for questions from reporters. Wednesday, after an economic luncheon in Beaver Dam, marked the first time he defended his plans.
Also on Wednesday, President Obama sought to reassure people worried about safety during the holiday travel season.
"Right now, we know of no specific and credible intelligence indicating a plot on the homeland," President Obama said during a televised address from the White House. "In the event of a specific, credible threat, the public will be informed."
The president said U.S. intelligence and security officials would be working round-the-clock during the holidays.
Yet Walker said more would be necessary to combat ISIS terror.
"Either the president of the United States doesn`t know what`s going on in these circumstances, or he`s not telling the people of this country what`s happening -- either of which (don't) lead to people like me and others to have a whole lot of faith and confidence in this administration," Walker said.
Some Democratic governors have also expressed concerns about refugee relocation. Yet advocates for the refugees, including Lutheran Social Services, have told FOX6 News that the screening process is time-consuming and requires refugees to meet face-to-face with U.S. security officials.
When asked twice by reporters on Wednesday, Walker declined to name specific measures that would boost his confidence in the screening process.
The U.S. House, led by Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville, overwhelmingly passed legislation that would require U.S. officials to certify that each refugee did not pose a threat before allowing them into the country. President Obama has vowed to veto the bill.