On the heels of a failed attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound plane last month, President Barack Obama stood before the nation Thursday night and admitted the nation’s security system failed and offered up ways to improve it. NY1’s Tetiana Anderson was at Newark Airport to get reaction from travelers and filed the following report.
Most passengers at Newark Liberty International Airport Thursday night said they supported Barack Obama’s assertion that stepping up security at the airport will step up safety nationwide.
"I was very impressed that he was upset by it and it’s hopefully going to be a call to action,” said one traveler. “I hope he puts his money where his mouth is because it’s going to cost a lot of money to institute these ideas that he has but he’s right. It’s been a major screw up and he has to right the wrong."
Hopefully Obama's billion-dollar plan is the right fix. The money will go toward putting body scanners in airports nationwide, and instituting more pat-down searches.
"It is for security,” said the traveler. “I guess we've got to put that first.”
While passing through Newark Airport, Senator Carl Levin, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said he, too, does not mind the additional security.
"I’m not worried about them touching my private parts,” he said.
With a failed terrorist attack in Detroit on Christmas followed by a security breech in New Jersey, where a Transportation Security Guard guard left his post and a man snuck into a passenger-only area without going through security, times are changing.
New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg called for everyone, including that Newark perpetrator, to take responsibility.
“You have committed what’s essentially is a crime,” Lautenberg said. “And you’re going to pay a heavy price for it. Come out, my friend. Come out here right now and tell us what you had in mind. Tell us if you weren’t interested in causing some terror-causing event, tell us why not. But tell us what you were doing.”
New York senators are also reacting to the president's speech, with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand saying the president is showing strong leadership and Charles Schumer commending him for taking responsibility.