At last night’s debate, the Republican party’s presidential candidates doubled down on their hateful and dangerous rhetoric. Time and again throughout this campaign, the Republicans running for president have stoked fear, appealed to the worst of human nature, and called for dangerous policy positions that alienate our allies, helping extremists like ISIL recruit and strain ties with the Muslim partners we need around the world to prosecute the war on terror. In short, they doubled down on language and positions that make America less safe. When asked whether they agree with Donald Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States, nearly all of the candidates refused to take a stand against it, instead offering their own offensive versions. That they walked away from the opportunity to repudiate Trump’s ugly rhetoric is a reminder that the GOP’s front-runner isn’t an isolated extremist, and any of the candidates on stage last night would drag America back to the go-it-alone foreign policy that destabilized the Middle East in the first place.
- Governor Kasich said, “I’ve been for pausing on admitting the Syrian refugees.”
- Governor Christie reminded viewers that he’s already said, “right from the beginning that we should take no Syrian refugees of any kind.”
- Senator Rubio stated, “if we do not know who you are, and we do not know why you are coming, when I am president, you are not getting into the United States of America.”
- Senator Cruz said, “we should pass the legislation that I’ve introduced that suspends all refugees from nations that ISIS or Al Qaeda controls significant territory.”
- Dr. Carson agreed that “it is a substantial problem” and that we must “come up with new guidelines for immigration, and for visas, for people who are coming into this country.”