Sunday Morning Political Talk Shows Ignore Republican Candidates' Anti-Muslim Positions

Every Sunday morning political talk show on December 13 discussed Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric and his call to ban Muslims from entering the United States, but failed to acknowledge that other Republican presidential candidates have similarly anti-Muslim positions.

Sunday Political Talk Shows Criticized Trump's Anti-Muslim Positions...

Fox News Sunday Panel Questioned The Practicality Of Trump's Proposed Ban On Muslim Immigration. On the December 13 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, Fox contributor Karl Rove noted the impracticality of Trump's proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States, saying Trump “grabs the angst of the American people ... but the substance is completely devoid.” The Washington Post's Charles Lane called Trump's proposal “poorly thought out” and “overbroad,” and explained that it would “abuse [executive] power grossly” :

CHRIS WALLACE (HOST): How much is [Donald Trump] hurting the Republican Party, Karl?

KARL ROVE: Well, that depends on who the nominee ends up being, but I thought it was interesting when he came out on a statement on Muslims, every other Republican candidate said, in one way, shape, or form, that's a really bad idea. And we saw it in your interview. You pressed him on it, how are you going to keep the Muslims out of the country? Andhe said, “We're going to use surveillance, papers, and documents.” So the Canadian businessman whose passport does not say he's a Muslim, are we going to surveil everybody in the world to figure out whetheror nottheyare a Muslim or not? I mean, look, he grabs the angst of the American people about a situation and has a good soundbite, but the substance is completely devoid. Andindoing these things, he creates damage to himself.


CHARLES LANE: The immigration law gives the president very broad authority to ban this or that category of people from coming into the country, okay? But that power, like many others, can be abused. And what Donald Trump is proposing to do is to abuse that power grossly. And the contrast with [former President Jimmy] Carter is very stark. Carter picked a nationality, a particular category of people who carry a certain passport, very easy to identify. And by the way he included a humanitarian exception, implying that people who were legitimate refugees from that regime could still enter the United States. Donald Trump said total and complete ban. It would be as if Carter, in response to the revolution and the hostage-taking in Iran had said, “I'm banning all Shia Muslims, because the Ayatollah Khomeini is the head of the Shia movement in the United States, regardless of whether they come from Iran or not. And so, I know this is out there, people are saying ” well, it was okay for Jimmy Carter, this is media bias. “But the two cases couldn't be more different. And, you know, in fact the contrast illustrates how poorly thought out,and how overbroad,the Trump proposal was. [Fox Broadcasting, Fox News Sunday, 12/13/15]

Face The Nation Discussed Trump's Anti-Muslim Proposals And Their Political Ramifications For The GOP. On the December 13 edition of CBS' Face the Nation, host John Dickerson noted that Republican leaders and presidential candidates have condemned Trump's anti-Muslim proposals, but that “none of the candidates” have said they would not support him if he won the Republican nomination. The Wall Street Journal's Kim Strassel lamented “that Republican candidates aren't talking about” the ban on Muslim immigration as “a bad policy” :

KIM STRASSEL: It was no accident he came out with that Muslim comment the next day after a lackluster speech by a president who looked disengaged and had no new policies for the nation. So, he comes out and says this. And he loves it when people then say, he's a racist because it diverts attention away from the policy. The policy just -- take aside the politics -- it's a bad policy. There's no real way to implement it. There's no proof that it would be effective in stopping another San Bernardino. It's potentially a very bad idea. If we want to win against the terrorists in the Middle East, you're going to have to make coalitions with moderate Muslim forces, this does not help us. The pity is that Republican candidates aren't talking about that. Because this might actually have an effect on Trump and his presidency.

JOHN DICKERSON (HOST): Why are they not talking about that? They seem a little afraid. Yes, they say “bad Trump,” but then they move on. There's nobody -- why is that?

STRASSEL: Because he just manages to say these things that are so inflammatory that they feel that they have to respond on an emotional level, and make some sort of moral statement about Donald Trump. And the rest of it all gets lost. And he loves it when that happens.


DICKERSON: You have a situation where you have denunciation after denunciation of Trump and then none of the candidates, no one will say, 'But if he's the nominee, I won't support him." We haven't gotten to that. That contradiction seems pretty strong, but it's there. [CBS, Face the Nation, 12/13/15]

Meet The Press Reported On GOP Leaders' “Rush To Condemn” Trump's Anti-Muslim Proposals. On the December 13 edition of NBC's Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd highlighted how Republican leaders “rushed to condemn Donald Trump's plan to ban Muslim immigration” and acknowledged how “Republican officials [are] worr[ied] about angering Trump's supporters.” The program later featured a segment about the impact of Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric, in which guest Ted Koppel said Trump “is in effect the recruiter-in-chief for ISIS” :

CHUCK TODD (HOST): There's a truism in American politics: Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line. So we thought. Not this year. The opposite has happened. Democrats are falling in line with their established candidate, Hillary Clinton, while it's Republicans, like a rebellious teenager smitten with the bad boy on the motorbike in Donald Trump. And the parents, in this case, the Republican establishment, are taking a very dim view of that relationship, terrified that a Trump nomination would wipe out Republicans up and down the ballot. [NBC, Meet the Press, 12/13/15; 12/13/15]

This Week Discussed Threats Of Violence Against Muslim Community “Fueled By” Donald Trump's Anti-Muslim Rhetoric. On the December 13 edition of CBS' This Week, host George Stephanopoulos asked about “the fallout” in the Muslim community “since the comments of Donald Trump,” noting several threats made against mosques and Muslim organizations. Guest Nihad Awad explained that the “anti-Muslim sentiment that has been unfortunately fueled by Donald Trump” has contributed to “the violent backlash” against Muslims:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS (HOST): The San Bernardino massacre, and the debate stirred up by Donald Trump, has focused attention and new threats on America's Muslim community. There you see a mosque in California victimized by arson. One of dozens of mosques targeted this year. And two offices of the Council on American-Islamic Relations had to be evacuated this week after suspicious powders were sent to their offices.


STEPHANOPOULOS: What has been the fallout in your community since San Bernardino, since the comments of Donald Trump?

NIHAD AWAD: Good morning, George. As you can tell, the Muslim community is extremely concerned about the violent backlash against its members, against its institutions. As you have seen just a moment ago, the mosque that was firebombed last Friday. Quite [a] few violent attacks have been taken place against individual Muslims. Hate messages, death threats, like our two offices were evacuated, the one in Washington, D.C., and in Santa Clara, because of suspicious powder that we received with a death threat on it. And luckily, everyone is safe and the matter is being investigated by the FBI. So, yes, there is a sense of anxiety and this comes, you know, in the background of the anti-Muslim sentiment that has been unfortunately fueled by Donald Trump and his likes from his platform. [ABC, This Week, 12/13/15]

State Of The Union's Jake Tapper Pressed Donald Trump On His Proposal To Ban Muslims From Entering The US. On the December 13 edition of CNN's State of the Union, host Jake Tapper interviewed Trump and asked him if his proposal to ban Muslims from traveling to the United States is “a good thing or not” :

JAKE TAPPER (HOST): I don't think anyone doubts that radical Islam is a big problem, but I think the question is, is your proposed solution a good thing or not? Let me just--

DONALD TRUMP: Well, you know, in my solution, you know it's a temporary -- it's a temporary solution--

TAPPER: Until when?

TRUMP: Obviously -- well, until we get our hands around the problem. We have a real problem. We have people coming into the country, getting into airplanes and flying them into the World Trace Center. Look at Russia. That was a problem. I mean -- with the airplane coming down. We have all over, you look at California, this woman comes in, this horrendous woman comes into the country, radicalized, she gets through on a fiancée passport. I've never even heard of a fiancée -- a fiancée visa. And she comes in, she's with the guy, and they just killed 14 people with more to come, because there are people so badly hurt that they're going to be dying also. So we have to get our act together. Again, my relationship with the Muslim community is excellent. I've had people call me at the highest level, saying, “you're doing us a favor,” because they know they have a problem, very well. I mean, they really know that they have a problem. [CNN, State of the Union, 12/13/15]

... But Failed To Cover Anti-Muslim Positions Of Other GOP Candidates

Sunday Shows Focus On Trump, Ignore Other Candidates' Similar Proposals. Every Sunday political talk show denounced Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric and proposals, while ignoring similar policy proposals from other Republican presidential candidates, including calls for increased surveillance and closing the United States to all non-Christian refugees fleeing civil warfare and widespread terrorism in Iraq and Syria.    

Republican Presidential Candidates Have Espoused Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Similar To Trump's

Ted Cruz Called For The U.S. To Accept Christian Refugees While Barring Muslims. During a November 15 campaign visit to South Carolina, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) “continued to call for Muslim refugees from Syria to be barred from entering the United States but opening the borders to displaced Christians.” According to The Washington Post, Cruz said, “We need to be working to provide a safe haven for those Christians who are being persecuted and facing genocide, and at the same time we shouldn't be letting terrorists into America.” Cruz also “reiterated his assertion that it is 'lunacy' to allow Muslim refugees into the United States, asserting that there is no way to know if they are aligned with the Islamic State” :

Sen. Ted Cruz Sunday continued to call for Muslim refugees from Syria to be barred from entering the United States but opening the borders to displaced Christians, arguing there is not a “meaningful risk” that Christians will commit terrorist acts.

“There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror. If there were a group of radical Christians pledging to murder anyone who had a different religious view than they, we would have a different national security situation,” Cruz (R-Tex.) told reporters in a middle school gym here.

“But it is precisely the Obama administration's unwillingness to recognize that or ask those questions that makes them so unable to fight this enemy. Because they pretend as if there is no religious aspect to this,” he said.


Cruz did not say how he would determine that refugees were Christian or Muslim. He reiterated his assertion that it is “lunacy” to allow Muslim refugees into the United States, asserting that there is no way to know if they are aligned with the Islamic State.

“We can't roll the dice with the safety of Americans and bring in people for whom there is an unacceptable risk that they could be jihadists coming here to kill Americans,” Cruz said. “We just saw in Paris what happens when a country allows ISIS terrorists to come in as refugees and the result can be a horrific loss of life,” he said, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

The assertion is a shift for Cruz, who in early 2014 told Fox News that America should allow Syrian refugees to come to the United States. Now he is saying that Muslim refugees should be resettled in majority Muslim countries in the Middle East. [The Washington Post, 11/15/15]

Marco Rubio Wants To Shut Down Mosques Or Any Other Place “Where Radicals Are Being Inspired.”  On the November 19 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said, “Whatever facility is being used -- it's not just a mosque -- any facility that's being used to radicalize and inspire attacks against the United States, should be a place that we look at” and potentially shut down:

“It's not about closing down mosques. It's about closing down any place -- whether it's a cafe, a diner, an internet site -- any place where radicals are being inspired,” Rubio said on Fox News' The Kelly File on Thursday night when asked if he agreed with Trump. “The bigger problem we have is our inability to find out where these places are, because we've crippled our intelligence programs, both through unauthorized disclosures by a traitor, in Edward Snowden, or by some of the things this president has put in place with the support even of some from my own party to diminish our intelligence capabilities.”

“So whatever facility is being used -- it's not just a mosque -- any facility that's being used to radicalize and inspire attacks against the United States, should be a place that we look at,” he continued. [ThinkProgress, 11/20/15]

Jeb Bush: The United States “Should Focus Our Efforts As It Relates To The Refugees For The Christians That Are Being Slaughtered.” Appearing on CNN's State of the Union on November 15, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called for “focus[ing] our efforts as it relates to refugees on the Christians that are being slaughtered,” excluding Muslim refugees, saying that, “there are a lot of Christians in Syria that have no place now” :

JAKE TAPPER (HOST): We have breaking news this morning. As you heard from Christiane Amanpour, according to French authorities, at least one of the Islamist terrorists smuggled into France amongst refugees from Syria. There are Syrian refugees coming into the United States right now. Clearly there is a heart-breaking humanitarian imperative at stake, but what would you do as president, given this new information?

JEB BUSH: Well, I think we need to lead as it relates to taking action in Syria and Iraq to eradicate ISIS from the face of the Earth. That should be our first and foremost responsibility. But as it relates to the refugees, I think we need to do thorough screening and take a limited number. But ultimately, the best way to deal with the refugee crisis is to create safe zones inside of Syria so that people don't risk their lives, and you don't have what will be a national security challenge, both for our country and Europe, of screening. In addition to that, Jake, I'd say that there are a lot of Christians in Syria that have no place now. They'll be either executed or imprisoned, either by Assad or by ISIS. And I think we should have -- we should focus our efforts as it relates to the refugees for the Christians that are being slaughtered.

TAPPER: How does the United States -- how do screeners tell which refugees are Christian and which ones are not?

BUSH: Well, we do that all the time. We do that -- it takes almost a year for a refugee to be processed into the United States. I think we need to be, obviously, very, very cautious. This also calls to mind the need to make sure we protect our borders, our southern border particularly. We need to focus on counterintelligence capabilities that have been weakened when the PATRIOT Act was reauthorized. This is a warning for our country that this threat is not going to go away. This is a threat against Western civilization, and we need to lead. The United States has pulled back, and when we pull back, voids are filled. And they're filled now by Islamic terrorism that threatens our country. [CNN, State of the Union, 11/15/15]

Chris Christie Advocated Against Accepting Syrian Refugees, Including “Orphans Under Five.”  During a November 16 interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he would not accept Syrian Muslim refugees in the U.S., not even “orphans under five.” Christie also suggested that “any” Syrian refugee “could be connected to terrorism” :

“I do not trust this administration to effectively vet the people who are proposed to be coming in,” the New Jersey governor and presidential hopeful said in an interview Mondaywith radio host Hugh Hewitt.

When asked if he would make an exception for “orphans under the age of five,” Christie said no.

“The fact is that we need appropriate vetting,” he continued, "and I don't think orphans under five are being, you know, should be admitted into the United States at this point. But you know, they have no family here. How are we going to care for these folks?


On Tuesday, Christie wrote to President Barack Obama calling on him to halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the U.S. and informing the president that New Jersey would not accept any.

“I cannot allow New Jersey to participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees -- any one of whom could be connected to terrorism -- being placed in our State,” Christie wrote in a letter to Obama. [CNN, 11/17/15]

Ben Carson: An American President Should Be “Sworn In On A Stack Of Bibles, Not A Koran.”  On the September 20 edition of NBC's Meet the Press, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said that he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.” In a follow-up interview with The Hill, Carson doubled down, stating, “I do not believe Sharia is consistent with the Constitution of this country” and that he would only make an exception if a Muslim running for office “publicly rejected all the tenants of Sharia” :

Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson is standing by his view that a Muslim should not be president of the United States, telling The Hill in an interviewon Sundaythat whoever takes the White House should be “sworn in on a stack of Bibles, not a Koran.”


“I do not believe Sharia is consistent with the Constitution of this country,” Carson said. “Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life and what you do as a public official, and that's inconsistent with our principles and our Constitution.”

Carson said that the only exception he'd make would be if the Muslim running for office “publicly rejected all the tenants of Sharia and lived a life consistent with that.”

“Then I wouldn't have any problem,” he said.

However, on several occasions Carson mentioned “Taqiya,” a practice in Shia Islam in which a Muslim can mislead nonbelievers about the nature of their faith to avoid persecution.

“Taqiya is a component of Shia that allows, and even encourages you to lie to achieve your goals,” Carson said. [The Hill, 9/20/15]