WATCH: Islam & Muslims in the 2016 US Presidential Campaigns
This page (compiled by Julie Poucher Harbin, Editor, ISLAMiCommentary) is intended to provide readers with videos showing what the leading presidential candidates in the U.S. presidential election of 2016 have to say about Islam and Muslims. ISLAMiCommentary neither opposes nor supports any candidate for public office. The candidates are listed in alphabetical order.
*Videos last updated on June 14, 2016. Only Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump remain in the race. All other candidates have since dropped out of the race.
FORMER SEC. OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON
June 13, 2016:Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton holds her first campaign address after a shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando that killed 49. At 35:53 Clinton addressed the Orlando shootings,terrorism, gun violence.
March 23, 2016: In a foreign policy speech at Stanford University, Clinton called Ted Cruz’s proposal to “patrol and secure” Muslim-American neighborhoods “wrong,” “counter-productive,” and “dangerous.”
Mar 22, 2016: Clinton (on ABC News) on US strategy toward ISIS following the terrorist attack in Belgium and about American Muslims in the US as a first line of defense. Plus her reaction to comments by Donald Trump about closing borders to Muslims.
January 26, 2016: Clinton was asked about the constitutional rights of all people during CNN’s town hall. She said that “American Muslims deserve better.”
December 8, 2015: A clip from Clinton’s speech at Woodbury School Salem NH regarding ISIS & Muslims and Trump and other GOP candidate comments. (Video Produced & recorded by Larry Seaman for Salem Community Television)
November 19, 2015: (via Real Clear Politics) Clinton said: “The bottom line is that we are in a contest of ideas against an ideology of hate, and we have to win. Let’s be clear, though, Islam is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people, and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism. The obsession in some quarters with a clash of civilization, or repeating the specific words radical Islamic terrorism isn’t just a distraction, it gives these criminals, these murderers more standing than they deserve. It actually plays into their hands by alienating partners we need by our side.”
VERMONT SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS
June 12, 2016: Sanders On Orlando Shooting, His Campaign (Full Interview) and his opinion on Trump and Trumps insults to Muslims and Mexicans.
Mar 23, 2016: Senator Sanders shares his thoughts on the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium and Trump’s response regarding Muslims. “At the end of the day, we cannot allow the Trumps of the world to use these incidents to attack all of the Muslim people in the world. That is unfair,” he continued to cheers. “To imply that if somebody is a Muslim they’re a terrorist, that is an outrageous statement.” More here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/03/23/bernie-sanders-on-kimmel-trump-using-brussels-to-attack-all-muslims.html
Feb.18, 2016: During a Clinton/Sanders town hall event held February 18 in Las Vegas, Sanders responded to a question from a US Muslim physician on how he would deal with Islamophobia if he were president. Sanders called out Donald Trump and others for their Islamophobic and racist comments.
Feb. 10, 2016: Fresh off of his win in the New Hampshire primary, Sanders stops by The Late Show to talk about why his campaign is different. (0332) On Trump supporters: “They have responded to Trump’s false message which suggests that if we keep Muslims out of this country or we keep scapegoating Latinos or Mexicans, that somehow our country becomes better.”
October 28, 2015: At a town hall speech in Virginia, Sanders hugged a Muslim student and promised to lead the fight against racism. “Let me be very personal if I might. I’m Jewish, my father’s family died in concentration camps,” he said.“I will do everything that I can to rid this country of the ugly stain of racism that has existed for far too many years.”
December 16, 2015: During an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Sanders responds to Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.
BUSINESSMAN DONALD TRUMP
JUNE 13, 2016: Donald Trump: The Muslims have to work with us.. In maybe his most direct language on the subject to date, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump blamed the Muslim community for their silence in the days leading up to the Orlando nightclub shooting as well as the previous shooting in San Bernardino.
In the wake of the tragedy in Orlando, Donald Trump has renewed his call for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States – despite Omar Mateen being a natural born U.S. citizen. To that, Trump says it means “we need far better intelligence gathering.”
MAY 4, 2016: Republican presidential candidate and likely GOP nominee, Donald Trump, joined the MSNBC program “Morning Joe” this morning to discuss his big Indiana win last night and where he goes from here.
Program co-host Joe Scarborough pressed Trump on whether, as President, he would implement his idea of banning Muslims from entering the U.S. — a proposal Trump has discussed at past campaign events. Trump didn’t reject the idea.
(Watch video below. If it doesn’t work see video section here: http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe)
SEE SYNOPSIS BELOW from The Hill:
Donald Trump stood by his call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. Wednesday, saying he doesn’t care if it hurts him in the general election.
“I don’t care if it hurts me,” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Wednesday. “I’m doing the right thing when I do this. And whether it’s Muslim or whether it’s something else, I mean, I have to do the right thing, and that’s the way I’ve been guided.”
“And I’ve been guided by common sense, by what’s right,” he continued. “And you see what’s happening. We have to be careful. I mean, we’re allowing thousands of people to come into our country, thousands and thousands of people being placed all over the country that frankly nobody knows who they are. They don’t have documentation in many cases — in most cases. And we don’t know what we’re doing.”
Trump initially called for a blanket ban on all Muslims entering the country in December, following mass shootings carried out by terrorists in Paris and Southern California.
Mar 22, 2016: Donald Trump says (on CNN) that in the wake of the Brussels, Belgium, terror attacks that the U.S. must consider a temporary ban on Muslim immigration.
Mar 10, 2016: Trump defends his comment that ‘Islam Hates Us’ and the other Republican presidential candidates weighed in during the GOP debate in Miami.
Feb 20, 2016: At a rally in South Carolina ahead of the SC primary, Trump cited an apocryphal (untrue) story about a U.S. general who purportedly dipped bullets in pigs’ blood to execute Muslim prisoners a century ago in an effort to deter Islamic terrorism.
February 6, 2016: Cruz, Rubio and Trump discuss their plans to defeat ISIS
January 12, 2016: (via The Tonight Show) Trump talks to Jimmy about how his controversial remarks have helped his campaign, why he defended President Obama’s tears over gun control and sets the record straight about those secret-Democrat conspiracy theories.
November 19, 2015 (via The Guardian): Trump spoke ata rally in Worcester, Massachusetts and criticised the Obama administration over its handling of Isis, saying Obama ‘doesn’t have a clue’. He also criticised the decision to accept Syrian refugees into the US and says it could be a ploy by terrorist groups, arguing that those seeking asylum are ‘all men’
September 30, 2015: (via The Guardian): Trump would send all Syrian refugees the US accepts back to Syria if he is elected, he said at an event in Keene, New Hampshire. While criticising secretary of state, John Kerry, he said: ‘I am putting the people on notice that are coming here from Syria as part of this mass migration that if I win, if I win, they are going back’
FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR JEB BUSH
January 15, 2016: On Fox News, Bush calls Donald Trump’s Muslim ban unhinged.
November 15, 2015: (via CNN/Raw Story) Bush told Jake Tapper that the US should focus its efforts as it relates to the refugees on the Christians that are being slaughtered (not Muslims). In a radio interview with New Hampshire radio host Jack Heath he had said “you can tell when someone is a Christian in the Middle East” based on indicators such as their name and birth certificate.
RETIRED NEUROSURGEON BEN CARSON
January 5, 2016: Carson was confronted by Hesham El-Meligy, the chairman of the Staten Island Libertarian Party, a Muslim, on the candidate’s opposition to a Muslim president. (Video: Josiah Ryan http://bit.ly/1Kj0iWo) “It says, ‘No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States,'” El-Meligy said, holding a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution and citing Article 6, Section 3. Carson’s response, brought the crowd of around 2,000 to a standing ovation.
September 20, 2015: (via NBC News Meet the Press) Carson told MTP host Chuck Todd he would not support a Muslim as President of the United States. “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,” he said. He also said that Islam, as a religion, is incompatible with the Constitution.
NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE
Feb. 1, 2016: Chris Christie discusses the country’s relationship with Muslims and how he would combat the Zika virus at the #GOPDebate at St. Anselm College in Manchester.
Dec. 1, 2015: Christie rebuts Trump’s claims that Muslims in New Jersey celebrated on Sept. 11, 2001.
Sep 18, 2015: (via Today Show) Christie told TODAY’s Matt Lauer that if someone at one of his town hall meetings had called President Obama a Muslim, he would have corrected him, unlike Donald Trump.
TEXAS SENATOR TED CRUZ
Mar 23, 2016: Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz picked up an important endorsement from his former rival, Jeb Bush. He is also celebrating a win in Utah’s caucuses. But Cruz is facing a backlash over his proposal to target Muslim Americans after the Brussels attacks. On Tuesday after the bombings, he said, “We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.” Cruz joins “CBS This Morning” to discuss why he is proposing the policy.
February 6, 2016: Cruz, Rubio and Trump discuss their plans to defeat ISIS
December 8, 2015: During a press conference on Capitol Hill, Cruz said he disagreed with a proposal to ban Muslims. “I believe we need a plan that is focused on the direct threat.”
November 18, 2015 (via Real Clear Politics): ABC news reporter Jonathan Karl confronted Cruz over his sponsorship of a bill to block refugees from Syrian who are Muslim as part of a package for “Good Morning America.”
BUSINESSWOMAN CARLY FIORINA
December 8, 2015: Fiorina on Donald Trump’s Proposal to ban Muslims; she attacked Trump and Obama.
September 22, 2015: (via The Tonight Show) Fiorina explained how she went from secretary to CEO to running a campaign for U.S. President and shares her views on non-Christian leaders. She said she would be fine with a Muslim president.
FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR MIKE HUCKABEE
December 15, 2015: Huckabee said in the undercard CNN debate that Muslims should be “begging” the government to come in and surveil mosques if they think Islam is so great. Hugh Hewitt asked Huckabee if it violates Muslims’ First Amendment rights. Huckabee said no it doesn’t because houses of worship are public places that everyone can go to. He asked, “How does it violate anybody’s First Amendment rights that somebody shows up because they might want to just listen in and see is there something that is a little nefarious?” He said if there’s anything untoward said, then the FBI can get search warrants.
December 7, 2015: On Fox’s The Real Story, Huckabee said the president’s characterization of Muslims ‘doesn’t exist with the facts.’
OHIO GOVERNOR JOHN KASICH
March 27, 2016: Kasich joins Meet the Press to discuss the state of the GOP presidential primary and the terror attack in Brussels, and speaks to a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction (from some GOP contenders) to terrorism that blames Muslims and seeks to ban Muslim immigrants from the U.S.
February 21, 2016: On Face the Nation, Kasich criticizes Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim Immigration, and reacts to latest exit polls on that subject.
January 10, 2016: (via Real Clear Politics) Reacting to the removal of muslim activist Rose Hamid, Kasich said that the Trump rallygoers are “not the Republican Party.” Kasich: “I saw a crowd booing this woman who was being escorted. That’s not the spirit of Jack Kemp. I mean, we are people that can tolerate differences and respect people, and this is nonsense. That is not the Republican Party.”
December 9, 2015: Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations, Kasich on Trump’s idea to ban Muslims: ‘People don’t buy this.’
FORMER MARYLAND GOVERNOR MARTIN O’MALLEY
January 17, 2016: O’Malley criticized Donald Trump’s plan for a Muslim database.
December 16, 2015: In an interview O’Malley commented on Trump’s latest comments about banning Muslims from entering the country, and Islamophobic sentiments sweeping the country in the wake of those comments.
KENTUCKY SENATOR RAND PAUL
December 8, 2015: Paul addressed Trump’s comments on banning all Muslims from entering the United States.
September 22, 2015: Paul said he would have no problem supporting a Muslim for president — and that Barack Obama isn’t one. In the aftermath of rival Ben Carson saying he wouldn’t be able to support someone who subscribes to Islam to lead the country, Paul said unequivocally that he believed the current president was born in the United States and is Christian. In the past, some other Republicans — including GOP front-runner Donald Trump — have at times publicly doubted the President’s heritage and faith.
FLORIDA SENATOR MARCO RUBIO
March 10, 2016: Speaking at the CNN Republican debate in Miami, Rubio fires back at Trump after Trump doubled down on saying that “a lot of” Muslims hate America.
Feb. 24, 2016: Rubio said there are “millions of patriotic Muslims.”
Feb. 6, 2016: Rubio discusses whether he would visit a mosque as president at the #GOPDebate at St. Anselm College in Manchester.
February 6, 2016: Cruz, Rubio and Trump discuss their plans to defeat ISIS
Dec. 8, 2015: On ‘Hannity,’ Rubio blasted Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims and discusses ‘homegrown violent, extremist problem.’
November 22, 2015: (via The Guardian) In an exclusive interview with the Guardian’s Sabrina Siddiqui, Rubio rejected Donald Trump’s support for closing down some mosques in the US after the Paris attacks and the registration of Syrian refugees.
FORMER PENNSYLVANIA SENATOR RICK SANTORUM
December 21, 2015: Santorum says most Muslims aren’t doing enough to confront the radical element in the faith. The Morning Joe panel challenges that assertion.
December 6, 2015: (via KCCI “Closeup”) The program talked to Santorum about the tragedy in San Bernardino, and what can be done to prevent another mass shooting. Santorum said if he were president he would recommend not bringing in refugees from Syria. He also criticized the founder of Islam. READ THE TRANSCRIPT AND WATCH THE FULL PROGRAM