Trump Doubles Down On Terror, Immigration Pitch
After the horrific shooting in Orlando, Florida by a man who pledged allegiance to terrorist groups (at odds with each other, no less), Donald Trump doubled-down on some of his most controversial policy proposals.
“We admit more than 100,000 lifetime migrants from the Middle East each year. Since 9/11, hundreds of migrants and their children have been implicated in terrorism in the United States,” he said in a statement. Trump has called for reductions in immigration and mass deportations.
“We need to protect all Americans, of all backgrounds and all beliefs, from Radical Islamic Terrorism — which has no place in an open and tolerant society,” he said.
“Radical Islam advocates hate for women, gays, Jews, Christians and all Americans. I am going to be a President for all Americans, and I am going to protect and defend all Americans. We are going to make America safe again and great again for everyone.”
From the Hill:
Trump’s speech on Monday was already seen as a pivotal moment for his presidential campaign, which has been shaken by criticism from Republicans over comments he made about the federal judge overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University.
Trump suggested the Indiana-born judge was biased against him because of his Mexican background — remarks House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said were a textbook example of racist comments.
The Orlando mass killing and Trump’s statement on Sunday afternoon seemed sure to raise the stakes for the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, who has made tough remarks about immigration the hallmark of his campaign.
Trump has promised to build a wall on the Mexican border that Mexico would pay for, and has suggested a temporary ban on Muslim immigration to the United States.
Trump will address an invitation-only crowd at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire on Monday afternoon.The speech was originally planned as a comprehensive takedown of Hillary Clinton.
“If we do not get tough and smart real fast, we are not going to have a country anymore,” Trump said on Sunday. “Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen – and it is only going to get worse. I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can’t afford to be politically correct anymore.”
But Trump is taking a risk by keeping the political heat on his opponents at a time when Obama and Clinton appear to be taking at least a partial time-out from presidential politics, cancelling a joint rally scheduled for Wednesday.
At the same time, Trump’s standing in the GOP primary improved when he took a strong stand against immigration policies after the terrorist attack last year in San Bernardino, Calif. His call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, which polls showed was popular, came after that attack.
The Democrats were supposed to campaign together in Wisconsin this week in what was expected to be a big moment for the party, but that event has been postponed. Clinton appears to be moving ahead with campaign events in Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina on Monday and Tuesday, however.
She did not mention Trump in a prepared statement released about the attacks.
Instead, she called on the U.S. to continue efforts to defeat international terror groups and to protect the homeland. She also noted that the attacks – which targeted a gay nightclub in Orlando – were an “act of hate” against the gay community, and said that “we need to keep guns like the ones used last night out of the hands of terrorists or other violent criminals.”
Trump’s initial response to the breaking news also infuriated his political opponents, who accused him of seeking to draw attention to himself instead of focusing it on the victims.
Over Twitter, Trump thanked his supporters for praising him about “being right” in immediately claiming that the attacks were the result of “radical Islamic terrorism.”
That tweet drew rebuke from some of Trump’s fiercest conservative critics, who said they were disgusted that the likely GOP nominee had made the attacks about himself.