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GOP Candidates “Laughably” Try to Distance Themselves from Trump Despite Imitating Him for Months

Last night’s extraordinarily un-American call by GOP frontrunner Donald Trump to ban Muslims from entering the United States, including Muslim U.S. citizens traveling abroad and presumably those who serve in our intelligence services and military, is anything but an isolated incident. In fact the Republican field of presidential candidates has spent weeks sowing fear and attempting to marginalize the Muslim community for political gain, a tactic widely criticized because it alienates Muslim-Americans and Muslim allies around the world who are critical to preventing terrorist attacks and defeating murderous organizations like ISIL. In recent weeks several of the other candidates have made similarly offensive comments and echoed Trump’s outrageous proposals on Muslims, including religious tests for refugees and closing Mosques and cafés where they gather.

Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued the following statement:

“Republican candidates attempts to try to distance themselves from Donald Trump’s un-American proposal to ban Muslims from the United States is laughable, seeing as they – along with party leadership – have refused to stand up to him, and have in fact echoed his xenophobia. Whether it was Marco Rubio saying we should consider shutting down Mosques and even cafés and diners where Muslims gather, or Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush calling for a religious test to only allow Christian refugees, or Chris Christie shutting the door on 3 year old orphaned refugees, the Republican Party’s candidates have stained America’s image around the world while feeding into a narrative that ISIL and other terrorist organizations use to recruit extremists. Unless they’re willing to now say that they will not support him if Trump becomes their nominee, then clearly they’re just playing political games and aren’t serious about defeating extremists.”

Here’s how the other candidates have been echoing and imitating Trump:

  • Jeb Bush called for screening refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict based on religion, saying, “I think our focus ought to be on the Christians.”
  • Ted Cruz also called for Christian refugees to be allowed asylum in the United States, but not Muslims.
  • Ben Carson compared refugees fleeing terror in Syria to rabid dogs, and said that a Muslim-American should not be President.
  • Marco Rubio compared Muslims to ‘members of the Nazi Party,’ and went further than Trump’s plan to close mosques, ‎arguing that diners and cafes may also need to be closed in response to Paris.
  • Chris Christie said he would refuse even three-year-old orphan refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
  • Carly Fiorina refused to correct a voter when he said that President Obama was “a black Muslim.”

And – just a reminder – these candidates have all signed a pledge to support Trump if he is the nominee:

  • Jeb Bush
  • Ben Carson
  • Chris Christie
  • Ted Cruz
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Lindsey Graham
  • Mike Huckabee
  • John Kasich
  • George Pataki
  • Rand Paul
  • Marco Rubio
  • Rick Santorum

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