In a very unusual speech on the House floor Tuesday, Rep. David Jolly (R-IL) sternly denounced Donald Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States: “It is time that my side of the aisle has one less [sic] candidate in the race for the White House — it is time for Donald Trump withdraw from the race.”
He began his floor speech by forcefully criticizing President Obama’s speech to the nation on Sunday night, saying that Obama had not promised any new solutions against terrorism, but had instead “lectured” Congress and the American public. But then he moved on to the subject of The Donald.
“But we also face a test of our commitment to religious freedom — one of the basic freedoms upon which our nation was founded. And we are either going to defend that religious freedom, or we are not,” he said. “It should be heartbreaking to every American that we have a frontrunner in the presidential race that suggests there will be a religious test for anybody who wishes to come to our shores. It is an affront for our very principles upon which our nation was founded.”
He also added that Trump’s call to discriminate against one religion would in turn become a threat to people of any religion: “I’m a born-again Christian — I believe in the saving grace of the Jesus Christ that I call my God. And the beautiful thing about this country is that I can stand here on the House floor among my peers, and in front of the nation, and declare that faith without fear of any reprisal. But if Donald Trump has his way, we may not have the liberty to do that anymore.”
Jolly was elected to the House in a special election in March 2014, and then won his first full term that November. He is now running for the United States Senate in a wide-open Republican primary, perhaps due at least in part to a new round of court-ordered changes to Florida’s congressional district lines that made his own seat lean much more Democratic.
But one thing’s for sure: If he has to run for Senate with Donald Trump at the top of his ticket, David Jolly definitely won’t be very… um, happy.