Jeb Bush called Donald Trump’s comments on tracking Muslims and closing mosques in America “just wrong,” blaming the GOP front-runner for “manipulating people’s angst and their fears.”
WASHINGTON — Presidential candidates from Hillary Clinton to Jeb Bush blasted Donald Trump on Friday after the real estate mogul said he “would certainly implement” a database to track Muslims in this country.
Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, bashed The Donald on Twitter.
“This is shocking rhetoric. It should be denounced by all seeking to lead this country,” she wrote.
Trump’s GOP rival Bush said Trump is “just wrong” in his bigoted calls for the government to track Muslims and to close mosques.
“It’s not a question of toughness. It’s manipulating people’s angst and their fears. That’s not strength. That’s weakness,” Bush said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
When asked repeatedly how his idea would be different than what the Nazis did to the Jews and other minorities before WWII in Germany, Trump repeated “You tell me” to reporters.
The comments came after Trump’s latest incendiary remark.
“I would certainly implement that. Absolutely,” Trump said when asked about a database system tracking Muslims in the U.S. Thursday night.
“There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases,” he added. “We should have a lot of systems.”
On Friday, Trump tweeted: “I didn’t suggest a database — a reporter did. We must defeat Islamic terrorism & have surveillance, including a watch list, to protect America.”
Bush suggested Trump’s ideas were un-American.
Hillary Clinton tweeted that Trump’s “shocking” statements “should be denounced by all seeking to lead this country.”
“There are things that are important as it relates to the values that we have as a country that make us special and unique, and we should not and we will never abandon them in the pursuit of this fight. We don’t have to. We can protect our freedoms here,” he said.
And even the man Trump has floated as a potential vice presidential pick disagreed with him.
“I’m a big fan of Donald Trump’s, but I’m not a fan of government registries of American citizens,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told reporters in Iowa.
Earlier in the week, Trump suggested that the U.S. should close down some mosques.
The other candidate at the top of GOP polls didn’t shy away from his own controversial rhetoric on Thursday, comparing the refugee crisis to handling a “rabid dog.”
I didn’t suggest a database-a reporter did. We must defeat Islamic terrorism & have surveillance, including a watch list, to protect America
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2015
“If there’s a rabid dog running around in your neighborhood, you’re probably not going to assume something good about that dog,” Ben Carson told reporters at a Thursday night campaign stop in Alabama. “It doesn’t mean you hate all dogs, but you’re putting your intellect into motion.”
Saba Ahmed, the founder of the Republican Muslim Coalition, said called it “Hitler-type rhetoric.”
“When someone’s talking about putting numbers on us and requiring IDs, what’s next, you’re going to want to put millions of us in concentration camps? It’s getting worse by the day,” she added. “Every day it’s something new and more offensive from Donald Trump. I don’t know who he’s been talking to.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement blasting Trump’s and Carson’s views as “Islamophobic and unconstitutional.”
“By mainstreaming Islamophobic and unconstitutional policies, Donald Trump and Ben Carson are contributing to an already toxic environment that may be difficult to correct once their political ambitions have been satisfied,” said the council’s Robert McCaw.