Donald Trump & Jeb Bush Feud At GOP Debate Over The Frontrunner's "Unhinged" Muslim Ban Proposal
During the sixth Republican debate, the topic naturally turned to Donald Trump’s absurd plan to ban all Muslims from entering the United States in the name of thwarting terrorism. Jeb Bush, desperate to make some sort of impact in the debate, challenged him on this, and in the course of defending himself, Trump said he has tons of Muslim friends who support his policy. Oh, boy.
It began when Trump was asked if there was any reason he might want to reconsider his call to prohibit Muslims entry to the United States. Trump, in classic Trump fashion, replied with a simple “No,” garnering laughter and surprise. After bashing "political correctness" and explaining he’s simply concerned about national security, he sought to diffuse any allegations of racism with a familiar defense. Trump, according to Trump, has plenty of Muslim friends, and some of them support his proposal to ban them from entering the country!
"I have many great Muslim friends," Trump claimed. "And some of them, I will say, not all, have called me and said, 'Donald, thank you very much; you're exposing an unbelievable problem and we have to get to the bottom of it.'"
Distressingly, the only Republican on the stage to challenge Trump on this policy was Bush. He pointed out that banning Muslims from entering the United States would apply to the Kurds, a stateless ethnic group in the Middle East that's fighting ISIS and is generally considered a strong U.S. ally. That's a valid point; one could certainly imagine Kurdish fighters being less willing to take up arms against ISIS knowing that Kurdish refugees aren't able to seek asylum in the United States.
And yet it was deeply ironic that Bush was the one to make this argument. After all, before Trump made his initial proposal for a ban on Muslims coming to America, Bush himself suggested that Syrian refugees wishing to enter the United States be subject to a religious test to ensure that they're Christians. Perhaps he's had a change of heart, or perhaps he's simply trying to make himself look tough against Trump, but let's not forget that not long ago, Bush's position was not that far from Trump's. That said, his "criticism" of Trump's policy was pretty milquetoast.
"I hope you'll reconsider," Bush offered. "I hope you'll reconsider. The better way of dealing with this — the better way of dealing with this is recognizing that there are people in, you know, the — Islamic terrorists inside, embedded in refugee populations."
Jeb didn't exactly earn the exclamation point behind his name with that one.