Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chairperson, is taking Republicans to task for their views on the possibility over a Muslim president.
In recent days, GOP frontrunners Donald Trump and Ben Carson, along with some of the lower-polling candidates like Rand Paul and John Kasich, have expressed dismay over the idea of a Muslim president, and each man owes the country an apology and a clarification of their views, Schultz argued in a released statement Sunday.
Here’s the whole statement, via Mediaite.
“In interviews today, not one, not two, not three, but four GOP candidates for president failed to clearly support the concept that a person’s religious beliefs should not disqualify him or her from being president. It’s hard to understand what’s so difficult about supporting an American citizen’s right to run for president, but unsurprisingly, this left Republicans scratching their heads. Of course a Muslim, or any other American citizen, can run for president, end of story. To think otherwise is not only harmful to our political process, but it elevates and validates discrimination in this country. John Kasich, Ben Carson, Rand Paul and Donald Trump should apologize and state clearly where they stand.”
While Debbie Wasserman Schultz would like to see those apologies start rolling in, it isn’t likely to happen, at least during the fight for the GOP 2016 presidential nomination.
Republicans have shown discomfort for the Islamic faith and are often quick to point out that terrorist groups like ISIS, as well as those who attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001, identified as Muslims.
As many as 43 percent of Republicans even see President Obama, a self-professed Christian, as a “closet” Muslim, and at a recent campaign event for Donald Trump, a New Hampshire man started his question by stating, “We have a problem in this country,” called “Muslims.”
At this point, any GOP candidate who did apologize and stand up for the idea of a Muslim President likely wouldn’t go very far in the polls.
And while it’s the kind of attitude that could be detrimental to one’s chances in a national election, you have to actually win the nomination before you can run for president or else you run the risk of running as a third-party, which the L.A. Times notes, has historically been the kiss of death for a presidential hopeful.
What do you think, readers? Is Debbie Wasserman Schultz right that GOP candidates owe an apology for their feelings on a Muslim president? And would you want a Muslim in the White House? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]