The Democratic National Committee isn’t just slamming Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country, but is hoping to take down as many Republicans as possible by inference of association with his remarks.
While most GOP politicians have roundly criticized Trump’s remarks, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) branded those condemnations insincere — taking aim at “mealy-mouthed criticism that has come from some of the presidential candidates and unfortunately the Republican Party chairman.”
“What they need to do is unequivocally state that one of their candidates for president would not support this man if he were the nominee, and every one of them continues to have raised the right hand and stand by that pledge to support this man if he is their nominee,” Wasserman Schultz said on CNN Wednesday. “And you know, the poem that that came after World War II and the Holocaust that said — that talks about I didn’t speak up, and then they came for me, applies here. And we are speaking up, and we will continue to speak up.”
“It is not just Donald Trump that has said that Muslims are unacceptable for admission to the country. Jeb Bush suggested that we should only admit Christian refugees and not Muslim refugees. Chris Christie would have denied 3-year-old orphans if they were Muslim into this country,” she continued. “And Marco Rubio said after the Paris attacks not only should we be considering interment, but he actually suggested that maybe we should close down cafes and diners where Muslims gather, and in fact, compared them to the Nazi Party.”
Rubio told Fox in November that “whatever facility is being used — it’s not just a mosque — any facility that’s being used to radicalize and inspire attacks against the United States, should be a place that we look at.”
“It’s not about closing down mosques. It’s about closing down any place — whether it’s a cafe, a diner, an internet site — any place where radicals are being inspired,” the Florida senator said. “The bigger problem we have is our inability to find out where these places are, because we’ve crippled our intelligence programs, both through unauthorized disclosures by a traitor, in Edward Snowden, or by some of the things this president has put in place with the support even of some from my own party to diminish our intelligence capabilities.”
The DNC later walked back the chairwoman’s claim that Rubio supported internment, telling The Hill that “given the volume of extreme rhetoric coming from the Republican candidates, there’s a lot to keep track of.”
Wasserman Schultz insisted today that all in the Republican field are “in the same boat” as Trump’s views.
“All of them running for president understand that their pathway to the nomination will not occur without making sure that they have that Tea Party extremist base,” she said. “…At the end of the day, that is why the 45th president of the United States will be the Democratic nominee, because when we have our nominee versus their nominee, certainly, the sense of their nominee is going to be coming from this collection of the right wing extreme bigots who would take our country backwards to the McCarthy era policies that I think that most Americans, I am sure that most Americans reject, that is why our nominee will ultimately be president of the United States.”
The DNC sent out a fundraising email Wednesday that rounded up Republican reactions to Trump — except the reactions listed by the DNC didn’t include the direct condemnations from the GOPs.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), for example, spoke extensively to members of the media on the Hill about his reaction, beginning with, “This is not conservatism. What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for.” Asked what he’d do if Trump wins the nomination, Ryan replied, “I’m going to support whoever the Republican nominee is, and I’m going to stand up for what I believe in as I do that.” The DNC email only included the pledge of support from Ryan.
A Tuesday fundraising email from the DNC cited Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus calling Trump “a positive for our party.” That’s a quote from August, when Priebus spoke of the attention generated by Trump’s candidacy: “I think it is a positive for our party. When you have 30 million people watching, not to mention the fact that we have 16 other incredible candidates out there I think we are showing America that we are the young, diverse party, offering a whole slew of options for people and that’s a good thing.”
The RNC is trying to walk a fine line with Trump as he’s been threatening again to run as an independent despite signing the GOP pledge.
“A new poll indicates that 68% of my supporters would vote for me if I departed the GOP & ran as an independent,” he tweeted Tuesday.
“The people, the Republican Party, have been — the people — have been phenomenal,” Trump told ABC’s Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan the next day. “The party — I’ll let you know about that. And if I don’t get treated fairly, I would certainly consider that.”