Mayor Bill de Blasio and many major political figures from both sides of the political spectrum on Monday condemned a call by GOP front-runner Donald Trump to keep Muslims from entering the United States.
The Republican presidential candidate, who is leading in GOP polls, urged a “total and complete shutdown” in a statement to reporters.
“Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad,” Trump said.PhotosDo you know who this presidential candidate is?PhotosFiller: Other possible presidents besides Kayne WestMore coverageOpinion and analysis about the 2016 presidential campaign
Trump, at a rally Monday night in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, doubled down on his proposal, saying, “We have no idea who is coming into our country.”
“We have no choice. We have no choice,” he repeated of closing borders to Muslims, citing a “great hatred” toward Americans by those in the community.
“You’re going to have more World Trade Centers. . . . They have no respect for human life,” he said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has sharpened his attacks on Trump in recent days, reacted with shock when he learned about the “dangerous, dangerous statement” to reporters at an unrelated Staten Island event.
“I don’t even know what to say at this point,” he said. “The country was formed by people fleeing religious persecution . . . How could the front-runner for a major party nomination literally be suggesting a religious test on who gets to come into the country?”
The leading Democrat in the 2016 race, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, tweeted in response to Trump: “This is reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive. @RealDonaldTrump, you don’t get it. This makes us less safe.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Clinton’s top challenger for the Democratic party nomination, added on Twitter, “We are weak when we allow racism and xenophobia to divide us.”
Republicans in the presidential race also expressed outrage.
Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina said on Twitter that “every candidate for president needs to do the right thing & condemn” Trump’s remarks, adding that the billionaire businessman is risking the lives of diplomats, troops and other Americans working against the Islamic State, which is known as ISIS or ISIL.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, also on the social media platform, called Trump “unhinged.”
Trump, a New York City real-estate developer, had called for putting Muslim-Americans “on a list” and also told the Republican Jewish Coalition last week that he is a “negotiator like you.”
He criticized de Blasio on Monday, tweeting that the Democrat is “the worst Mayor in the United States. I hate watching what is happening with the dirty streets, the homeless and crime! Disgrace.”