The White House said Tuesday that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States disqualifies him from being president.
“What Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies him serving as president,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said. “And for Republican candidates for president, to stand by their pledge to support Mr. Trump, that in and of itself is disqualifying.”
Earnest said that the first thing a president does when he or she takes the oath of office is to swear an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
“What he said is disqualifying,” Earnest said. “Any Republican who’s too fearful of the Republican base to admit it has no business serving as president either.”
During a campaign rally on Monday, Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
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“Our country cannot be the victim of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” Trump said.
Earnest described Trump’s campaign as a “carnival-barker routine” and urged other Republican presidential candidates not to support Trump if he becomes the party’s nominee.
Earlier Tuesday House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters that Trump’s proposal “is not conservatism.”
“What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for and more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for,” Ryan said. “Not only there are many Muslims serving in our Armed Forces, dying for this country, there are Muslims serving right here in the House working every day to uphold and to defend the Constitution.”
In reaction to Trump’s proposal on Monday, the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) said “Donald Trump sounds more like a leader of a lynch mob than a great nation like ours.”
“He and others are playing into the hands of ISIS. This is exactly what ISIS wants from Americans to turn against each other,” Nihad Awad, executive director of CAIR, said at a press conference.
–with a file from The Associated Press