Many GOP presidential candidates on Monday rushed to denounce real estate mogul Donald Trump's proposal to bar all Muslims from immigrating to the United States. But what they did not do was call him out on his blatant Islamophobia, and in appealing to the Republican base, have also proposed nativist and anti-Muslim policies.
For example, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), when asked to respond to Trump, merely said that Trump's idea is "not my policy." Cruz has said that he wants to impose a religious test for Syrian refugees entering the U.S., believing that only Christian refugees should be accepted.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) did not outright condemn Trump either, with his campaign noting that Paul introduced an amendment in the Senate last week to temporarily block immigrants from countries "with known radical elements," a proposal which Cruz also supported.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson affirmed on Monday that he does not think religion should be used to restrict immigration but supports a system of monitoring all visitors to the country.
"Everyone visiting our country should register and be monitored during their stay as is done in many countries," Carson's spokesman Doug Watts said. "We do not and would not advocate being selective on one's religion."
Carson has made anti-Muslim remarks in the past, like when he said that he would not support a Muslim person becoming president.
Only Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) called out Trump for his divisiveness, but none of them specifically noted that Trump's rhetoric is offensive toward Muslims.
On Sunday, when President Barack Obama urged Americans not to resort to Islamophobia, Rubio questioned whether there was "widespread evidence" of anti-Muslim rhetoric and actions. Rubio apparently failed to notice that the proof lies right in his own party.
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