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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Donald Trump has now rocked the Republican race, and really put all GOP candidates in a position of having to actually answer a simple question: After all their opposition to taking in Muslim refugees, do they oppose (or favor) allowing any Muslims into the United States?

It should be noted that among fellow Republican candidates Rand Paul has already called for restrictions on immigration “from countries that have hotbeds of jihadism and hotbeds of this Islamism,” as he told Breitbart. And in turn, Ted Cruz voted in favor of Paul’s failed amendment in the Senate. (We’ll get to Cruz’s latest position, a bit further down.)

So in a way, Trump’s remarks Monday — that he would bar all Muslims from entering the country — are simply taking those Republicans’ ideas to their logical conclusions. After all, if people from Muslim-heavy countries should be excluded — then why even let in a single Muslim at all?

Late Monday afternoon, the Trump campaign released this statement:

Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population. Most recently, a poll from the Center for Security Policy released data showing “25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad” and 51% of those polled, “agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.” Shariah authorizes such atrocities as murder against non-believers who won’t convert, beheadings and more unthinkable acts that pose great harm to Americans, especially women.

Mr. Trump stated, “Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life. If I win the election for President, we are going to Make America Great Again.” – Donald J. Trump

The organization Trump cites, the Center for Security Policy, is a far-right fringe group headed by Frank Gaffney, who in the 1980s briefly held (and was soon forced out from) a position in the Reagan administration’s Department of Defense. Over the course of his career he has promoted birtherism against President Obama, made allegations that longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin is a secret agent of the Muslim Brotherhood, and gotten repeatedly banned from the annual CPAC conservative activist event. (Gaffney’s search for Muslim agents under the bed also extends to the conservative side of politics, too — the anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist is among his suspected Muslim agents.)

Despite not exactly having clean hands in this matter, Republican candidates were quick to denounce the frontrunner’s comments.

Jeb Bush — who has called for taking in refugees who can “prove you’re a Christian” — posted this message:

In a brief series of Tweets, Lindsey Graham condemned Trump’s ideas not only on their internal merits — but for putting American service-members as well as any allies in danger.

 

Speaking to reporters, Cruz (who has been more friendly with The Donald than most Republican candidates) now says that Trump’s view “is not my policy” — but he is touting his proposal for a three-year moratorium on refugees from countries with an ISIS or al-Qaeda territorial presence.

John Kasich, the accidental moderate, is condemning The Donald:

Kasich’s campaign staff also went the extra mile: They’ve simply reposted on Twitter their recent video that compared Trump to Hitler — and warned voters that after Trump goes after this or that despised group, he’ll next be coming after you.

Chris Christie is parting ways with Trump, whom Christie says he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. (Of course, this interesting in that Christie has previously said he wouldn’t even accept five-year old orphans as refugees.)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Presidential Forum in Washington December 3, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

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