Democrat presidential front runner Hillary Clinton took a direct shot at her top rival from the Republican side condemning Donald Trump’s call to require Muslims to register in a database, calling his idea “shocking.”
In an interview with NBC news Thursday night, Trump was asked to clarify comments he had made to Yahoo News, saying he would not rule out such a registry for Muslims if he were president.
“Should there be a database system that tracks the Muslims in this country?” an NBC reporter asked Trump at an event in Newton, Iowa.
“There should be a lot of systems. Beyond database, we should have a lot of systems. And today, you can do it,” Trump said. “I would certainly implement that — absolutely.”
He said the database would stop people from coming into the United States illegally. And he could accomplish it with “good management procedures,” he said.
Friday night he was starting to back track on his statement with his spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said Friday on Fox Business that Trump “is just saying he won’t rule anything out.”
“Those are a reporters’ words and now everyone is saying it’s all Trump. He’s simply saying he won’t take anything off the table,” Pierson said.
Clinton responded on Twitter, writing: “This is shocking rhetoric. It should be denounced by all seeking to lead this country.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s fellow Republican candidate former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has been denounced for suggesting Christian refugees should be prioritized over Muslims, joined Clinton in criticizing Trump for his remarks.
“You talk about internment, you talk about closing mosques, you talk about registering people, and that’s just wrong,” Bush told CNBC on Friday. “That’s not strength, that’s weakness.”
Republican rival Ohio Gov. John Kasich, meanwhile, said the proposal proved the real estate mogul was not worthy of the White House.
“The idea that someone would have to register with the federal government because of their religion strikes against all that we have believed in our nation’s history,” he said.
“On terrorism, as on so many other issues, what sounds outrageous to political and media elites can sound reasonable to large swathes of the American electorate, said veteran New Hampshire-based Republican strategist Dave Carney told POLITICO.
“When [elites] sit around and have a wine after work and some brie and they talk about the situation and geopolitics and what’s going on in the Mideast they’re talking about the Sunnis and the Shia and Alexander the Great and … what font the f**king French should’ve used to draw the maps after World War I,” he said. “Americans after work, if they can have the time to have a beer and see what’s going on, think there are these radical Islamist terrorists who want to kill us.”
A Trump campaign insider said the candidate’s willingness to go where other politicians will not helps him with voters. “Trump says what everybody else is thinking,” said the person. “ISIS has declared war on the United States.