GOP debate: Donald Trump defends ‘Islam hates us’ stance

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, on Friday, November 19, 2016.

By MJ Lee

CNN Politics Reporter

MIAMI (CNN) — Donald Trump defended his claim that “Islam hates us” during CNN’s Republican debate Thursday.

The GOP front-runner stirred up fresh controversy this week when he said in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “I think Islam hates us.” He claimed that there was “tremendous hatred” that in part defined the religion, and that while the United States was currently fighting radical Islam, “it’s very hard to define. It’s very hard to separate. Because you don’t know who’s who.”

When debate moderator Jake Tapper asked Trump to clarify those remarks and whether he meant all Muslims, Trump responded: “I mean a lot of them.”

“There’s tremendous hatred and I will stick with exactly what I said to Anderson Cooper,” Trump said.

Marco Rubio, struggling to keep his campaign alive, jumped in to criticize Trump. The Florida senator argued it’s not presidential to say things without thinking through the ramifications.

“Presidents can’t just say what they want. It has consequences,” Rubio said.

“I don’t want to be so politically correct,” Trump said. “It would be very easy for me to say something differently, and everyone would say, ‘Oh, isn’t that wonderful?’ We better solve the problem before it’s too late.”

Rubio shot back: “I’m not interested in being politically correct. I’m interested in being correct.” The candidate argued that weeding out radical Islam cannot happen without cooperation from Muslim allies. “We are going to have to work with people of the Muslim faith,” he added.

Decisive week for the GOP

The GOP candidates are heading into a week that could alter the course of the 2016 election. The debate is the final time they’ll meet before major states including Ohio, Florida and Illinois head to the polls on Tuesday.

Rubio and John Kasich may have the most to gain or lose from the debate. Both have had a disappointing few months and badly trail in the delegate path. Next Tuesday, each man will face the voters of their respective home states of Florida and Ohio. For both candidates, losing those contests would likely be the death knell for their campaigns.

A week after the last raucous Republican debate at which Trump boasted about the size of his manhood, Thursday’s forum lacked the intense personal insults that have defined previous showdowns. Instead, the debate was more of a policy-oriented discussion on issues including immigration, Social Security and foreign policy.

Ted Cruz, seeking to emerge as the primary GOP alternative to Trump, hit the billionaire over previous comments that he wants to remain “neutral” about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so he could broker a deal as president.

The Texas senator sought to bolster his pro-Israel credentials, insisting he “will not be neutral” as president.

Trump rejected the criticism, saying “There is nobody on this stage more pro-Israel than I am.”

“I will say I’m pro-Israel,” Trump said. “But I would at least like to have the other side think I’m somewhat neutral as to them so we can maybe get a deal done.”

Trump also defended recent comments that appeared to endorse authoritarian leaders and political regimes.

‘Strong doesn’t mean good’

On the Tiananmen Square protests that broke out in China in 1989, Trump said he believed the Chinese government had a “strong, powerful” response that “kept down the riot.” On Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump said he has been a “strong leader for Russia.”

“That doesn’t mean I’m endorsing Putin,” Trump said. “Strong doesn’t mean good.”

Trump addressed an issue that has tripped him up in the past: H-1B visas that encourage legal immigration for high-skilled workers.

He called the program “very, very bad for workers,” but in the same breath, acknowledged that he uses it in his hiring practices.

“I know the H-1B very well. I use it. I shouldn’t be allowed to use it,” Trump said, adding that the program should simply not exist.

When the candidates were asked how they would try to reform Social Security, Cruz and Rubio suggested that Trump’s proposal — ” I will do everything within my power to do nothing to Social Security” — lacked substance.

“The numbers don’t add up,” Rubio said, saying even after getting rid of fraud and abuse, there would still be hundreds of billions of dollars needed to close the gap.

Cruz also suggested that Trump’s solution amounted to a magic pill.

“We’ve got lots of challenges in the world but the answer can’t be, wave a magic wand and problem, go away,” Cruz said.

Trump bristled for the first time, accusing Cruz of having flip-flopped on ethanol subsidies for political expediency.

“Ted did change his view and stance on ethanol quite a bit,” Trump said, “in the hopes of maybe doing well.”

Cruz shot back by criticizing Trump — as he has in previous debates — for having contributed to Democrats in the past. He said Trump has not shown that he would truly stand up to special interests in Washington and that it was hard to imagine how his rival would “suddenly” change course.

“First of all, Ted was in favor of amnesty,” Trump said.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

2 comments

  • David John Francis

    WHERE ARE THE JOBS GOING? TRUMP KNOWS?

    You just have to listen to the Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders an honest, Socialist who at least believes what he says? Then we have Sen. Ted (Rafael) Cruz, Sen. Rubio and Govenor Kasick of Ohio and Donald Trump. The spotlight fell of Donald Trump because opened a major can of worms, what the others failed to do or would rather stay silent about it. It’s become the best selling issue to the American people of the illegal alien invasion, which not only has King Obama welcomed with an open hand, and has tied up the US Border Patrol and ICE in carrying out their duties. Currently there is a scam going on at the Southern border, whereas Border agents are prohibited to patrol high track areas with heavy concentrations of illegal aliens implicated by this President. In her debates Hillary Clinton is telling her small crowds that illegal alien movement is radically down, when in truth Agents can only hold and if the person has no criminal record must be released; illegal aliens are not even given a paper Notice to Appear before a judge (MPA) and can walk away and just disappear into our sovereign nation.

    NOT ONLY ARE AMERICAN JOBS BEING STOLEN BY THE MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS, BUT IS BEING HIRED BY BUSINESSES WHO NOT HELD ACCOUNTABLE. BUT ALL THIS WILL CHANGE IF TRUMP IS VOTED INTO HIGH OFFICE. TRUMPS GIANT WALL STRETCHING A 1000 MILES WILL RISE UP AND A STRINGENT SYSTEM TO STOP THE OVERSTAYS WHO ARRIVE BY PLANE EVERY DAY AND REMAIN HERE. THEY ARE JUST AS MUCH AN ILLEGAL ALIEN WHO ENTERS OUR COUNTRY WITHOUT BEING VETTED.

    THIS IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN DECADES, SO YOU HAVE TO HAVE A SHARP EYE ON THE PRIMARIES AS DEMOCRATS WILL EXPLOIT WHATEVER RESOURCES IS AVAILABLE, EVEN TO OVERLOOKING NON CITIZENS VOTING WHICH IS ILLEGAL AND COULD BE A CATASTROPHE. NOT SO LONG AGO THEY USED THE ‘ACORN’ ORGANIZATION TO SIGN UP ILLEGAL ALIENS. FOR INSTANCE OVER A MILLION DRIVERS LICENSES HAVE BEEN PASSED OUT TO ILLEGAL ALIENS IN CALIFORNIA AND ALONG WITH A THE MOTOR VOTER BILL TO REGISTER? IS THIS A BREEDER OFFICIAL ID THAT CAN BE USED SO ILLEGAL ALIENS CAN VOTE IN THE BLUE STATE?

    The only reason the Republicans and Democrats are throwing disparaging remarks at Donald Trump, is their lucrative worlds are about to crumple. All the perks from the Special interests are falling apart, because the American people have had enough of ‘Business as Usual’ from the corporate and industrial entities, which buy the votes in Washington. We saw the creation of this from the former Presidente of Mexico Vicente Fox and now the new Presidente Enrique Peña Nieto who is storming around, giving interviews and calling Trump Hitler, which shows to me their gravely worried about Trump reaching the Oval office and conclude their wealth of bribes and fraud offered to them by the political party’s and the mega corporate manufacturing base. State of Ohio last year lost 16.000 jobs, that’s why we need is Donald Trumps fair and balanced free trade.

    The State of Ohio has lost 600.000 jobs since January 2007, The only reason the Republicans and Democrats are throwing derogatory remarks at Donald Trump, is their lucrative worlds are about to collapse. All the perks from the Special interests are falling apart, because the American people have had enough of ‘Business as Usual’ from the corporate and industrial entities, which buy the votes in Washington. Trump knows what he is talking about, as he sees it as ‘Commonsense’. Free Trade, not the conglomeration of poorly effective trade deals, that offers our nation nothing, put together by incompetent delegates, who probably have secret meetings with foreign donors to collect large stipends in off shore bank accounts.

    Trump has an answer for any raw dealings, which if you don’t play are the rules such as currency manipulation, you are a monetary threat to America, and a penalty of 53% on any importation tariff will be imposed.

    Very soon the fast track Transpacific Partnership (PPT) will be approved and without Trump running the White House hundreds of thousands of more jobs will be gone and the giant companies with them. If you think any of the other nominees for President will do anything about it, you have a sad awakening. This is just another step in the bad Trade agreement that we have seen with Japan, China, India, areas of Europe and now the TTP, that is all enveloped with Asia and the East China Seas.

    Obama has ignored the backlash from Congress and pushed ahead with his overreaching executive orders, implementing laws against Article 1 of the constitution. Presidents don’t write laws; they just right approve them after Congress passes them. Illegal immigration have become a nemesis to the American worker, and now you try to facilitate as harmless, the millions who come here are stealing jobs from citizens and immigrants, who went through the procedures to reach their legal status. Hidden behind the closed doors in Washington is the buying and selling of THE PEOPLES future, is in jeopardy. Unrecognized millions of average men and women from the working class comprising of Republicans, Democrats, Independents silently moving over to the Trump line, from every class of our divided society. In actual fact blue collar union workers, white collar realize their jobs are at stake and that’s why African Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics and other ethnic groups are crowding the incredulous areas where Donald Trump is speaking.

    Ex-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, which has many legal mountains to climb, before she could claim the Presidency, from her first appearance in political circles in the media headlines of the Whitewater conspiracy, through her history to date squirming through the smallest hole of the judicial system with the collaboration of Obama and the State Department. Madam Clinton conspired with the White House, with her lying about the Benghazi, Libya slaughter and even lied to the family of the shattered families of the terrible incident, that it was caused by a video. She is certainly the smoothest, untrustworthy personage that millions of Americans have seen through? The only people who are willing to overlook her sinister past, of both her and a predator husband, that she and Bernie Sanders are doppelgangers of Obama proxy giving out other people’s money to the impoverished. The Clinton foundation is under review by the Federal Bureau of Investigation at this time, personal server, and National Security.

  • ANOTHERBOB

    It is refreshing to hear a candidate that speaks the politically incorrect truth. If Europeans don’t like him as president he won’t force our foreign aid down their throats.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.