Whether he wins or loses the nomination, Donald Trump has already defined the agenda and tone for the Republican Party well beyond Tuesday night’s debate stage. Their embrace of Trump-style extreme rhetoric and blatant falsehoods on national security doesn’t match up with reality, and made it impossible for the Republican candidates to have a serious debate on keeping the country safe. Take a look:
- Ted Cruz was asked about his Trump-like claim that he would “carpet bomb” ISIL to find out if the sand glows: “to be clear…would you carpet bomb Raqqa, the ISIS capital, where there are a lot of civilians” His response showed he doesn’t understand where ISIL operates: “you would carpet bomb where ISIS is. Not a city, but the location of the troops.”
- Cruz further claimed that President Obama is proposing to bring in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, something a CNN GOP Debate Reality Check declared as “false.”
- Marco Rubio claimed that, “ISIS is winning the propaganda war. They are recruiting people, including Americans, to join them.” Yet Rubio himself used ISIL propaganda in his television advertisements, and recently seemed to agree with Trump’s rhetoric on closing down Mosques, suggesting we may also close down cafés and diners where Muslims gather in America. Exactly the type of language that helps ISIL recruit.
- Dr. Ben Carson’s answer as to whether he could “order air strikes that would kill innocent children…Could you wage war as a commander in chief” speaks for itself. Carson said: “Interestingly enough, you should see the eyes of some of those children when I say to them ‘we’re going to have to open your head up and take out this tumor.’ They’re not happy about it, believe me. They don’t like me very much at that point. But later on, they love me. Sometimes you-I sound like him. Later on they really realize what’s going on and by the same token, you have to be able to look at the big picture. And understand that it’s actually merciful if you go ahead and finish the job rather than death by a thousand pricks.”
- John Kasich? He suggested that “frankly, it is time that we punched the Russians in the nose.”
- And Donald Trump, when asked if he was open to closing parts of the Internet replied, “Yes, sir. I am.”
“By allowing Donald Trump to dictate the terms of the Republican Party’s debate, their entire field has already lost. Shutting down the Internet, punching Russians in the nose, and not understanding where ISIL operates would all be laughable statements if they weren’t coming from candidates running for president. Refusing to stand up to Donald Trump and his dangerous rhetoric has made it impossible for the Republican field to seriously address national security. The facts simply aren’t with them.” – DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz