While most of his rivals, GOP officials and a handful of foreign leaders have condemned Donald Trump’s call to temporarily bar Muslims from entering the country, many supporters of the Republican presidential hopeful have been baffled by the outrage.
They see his plan as a practical, short-term solution to the threat posed by Islamic extremists in the wake of the attack in Paris and San Bernardino, California.
Here are how some of Trump supporters and those considering backing the current Republican presidential reacted to his proposal this week in a series of interviews with The Associated Press.
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“We can bring the women and children. But when the 20-year-old man comes, we oughta turn his (butt) around at the border, give him an M-16 and say, ‘Sorry, this is a fight you gotta fight on your own.’ ” — Greg Spearman, of Greer, South Carolina.
“It’s just the idea the way he says it, that’s all. It comes out wrong. I think if he had time to explain it, I think he could. You know, when it comes over the news, you just get bites. You just hear soundbites. You don’t get the whole picture.” — Dale Witmer, of Des Moines, Iowa.
“That’s what people want! They’re not going to say it, but that’s what they want. I mean, I hate to say it … but that’s the way it is. This is a different age then it was 10 years ago or 20 years ago. We’ve got to protect the homeland here, that’s the number one.” — Mike Baker, of Ankeny, Iowa.
“How can we let these people in our country until we vet them properly? Donald Trump is 100 percent right. … Everyone’s squawking constitutional rights, First Amendment, religious freedom. That only goes toward U.S. citizens. That does not go to people in other countries. They don’t have constitutional rights. So they’re blowing this whole thing out of proportion.” — New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro.
“It’s hitting the nail in the head. …. He’s right, he’s absolutely right.” — Bill Kullander, of Des Moines, Iowa.
“Under the circumstances, I think it’s a good idea.” If the country can’t vet people well enough, “I think it would be a good idea to keep them out of the U.S.” — Linda Weaver, of Indianola, Iowa.
“I think he’s pretty much right on track actually on that. I think we are kind of at war with the Muslims, in a sense. ISIS and their beliefs and such. They’re not all bad people. We’re not all bad people. But it seems like, I mean, I don’t know, it just seems like they’re a different type of people.” — DeMarko Nereim, of Runnells, Iowa.
“The only way to defeat this is to kill them before they kill us. … The question I would ask is: Is it morally right to allow people to come into this country at a time that ISIS is trying to infiltrate what (President Barack) Obama wants to let in?” — Gary Hopper, of Weare, New Hampshire.