After Donald Trump released a statement announcing his intent to ban all Muslims from entering the United States if elected, his likely unconstitutional plan was widely condemned. Jeb Bush called him “unhinged,” Hillary Clinton called the plan “reprehensible,” and the Huffington Post decided it was finally time to move Donald Trump out of its “Entertainment” section.
However, down at a rally on the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks, on the USS Yorktown in South Carolina, the many people listening to Trump — a fraction of the 35 percent minority in the Republican Party who have the power to keep Donald Trump relevant and who have beat up or screamed at protesters attending Trump rallies — cheered wildly as he explained to those listening that they should be vigilant and report anything suspicious they saw in their neighborhoods. “Don’t worry about profiling. I promise I will defend you from profiling.”
Here’s a brief look at what a few Trump supporters in South Carolina and elsewhere told news outlets about the Muslim ban on Monday night. (Not everyone agreed with him.)
- “It’s tough to go to that extreme, but I think that many Muslims support the [radical] Muslim lifestyle … It’s just a natural fact of life.”
- “The whole world is in combat and we’re gearing up. I’ll hire this man for eight years, and when he’s done, I want his daughter in for the next eight.”
- “Send them all home!”
- “I expect that from Trump. Could he really enact that? No.”
- “I think that’s pretty backwards thinking, like similar to the 50s, you know, with black people. There’s an issue that needs to be addressed, but I think … shotgunning it out to barring everyone is not the right idea.”
- “I’m 110% for it. Until they can figure out how to stop all these illegal criminals coming in to this country, we need to act.”
- “Hell, we have got to be realistic. I know it’s not politically correct, but we have a problem right now.”
- “I think that sounds good. After all, we haven’t heard about Christian terrorism for a while.”
- “If he wants to make people wait five days, I don’t have a problem with that. If it’s five years, I might not agree.”
- “We should know who we are letting in, no matter who they are. He’s just saying, ‘Be cautious.”’
- “I think that we should definitely disallow any Muslims from coming in. Any of them. The reason is simple: we can’t identify what their attitude is.”
- “We can’t look at a Muslim and tell if they’re a terrorist or friendly.”
- “I spent four-and-a-half years in Iraq before I got hurt and there’s a lot of great Muslim people on the planet.”
- “I don’t hear a better alternative and I don’t understand why they’d just shut that down when it makes sense. It just makes common sense.”
- “I liked what he said about Muslims. It’s not that I’m against Muslims; I think it’s important to get control and understand what is going on.”
- “What he’s saying is no different than the situation during World War II, when we put the Japanese in camps. The people who attacked innocent people in Paris came through open borders. From a military mind standpoint, all Donald Trump is saying is to do what needs to be done until we get a handle on how to do background checks.” — New Hampshire State Representative Al Baldasaro
On Tuesday morning, Trump went on a few TV shows, high off the support of those cheering at his rallies, to offer more details on his plan and get his customary free publicity after saying something widely condemned by most other politicians. On Morning Joe, he said that banning all Muslims from the U.S. was not un-American “because FDR did it!” However, he added that his plan was definitely not the same as internment. “We’re not talking about internment. This is a whole different thing.” He did not explain how. He brought up Franklin D. Roosevelt on Good Morning America, too, saying, “This is a president highly respected by all, he did the same thing.” Trump also said that he wasn’t bothered by all the people comparing him to Hitler.
On CNN, he told Chris Cuomo that it wasn’t fair that it was so much harder for Christians in Syria to come to the U.S., and that only Muslims were being allowed in. Cuomo told him that was not a true statement.