Rubio Hits Trump’s Anti-Muslim Comments: ‘Presidents Can’t Just Say Anything They Want’


Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) called out opponent Donald Trump for his comments that “Islam hates us” during Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate.

CNN moderator Jake Tapper asked Trump if he meant all 1.6 billion followers when made the remarks on Wednesday to Anderson Cooper. Trump stood by his answer by saying he meant “a lot of them,” searching for laughter from the audience.

Rubio responded to Trump’s comment that he saw the appeal of his statements but noted that a president could not just say anything that they wanted.

“I know that a lot of people find the appeal of things Donald says because he says things people wish they could say,” Rubio said. “The problem is presidents can’t just say anything they want. It has consequences here and around the world.”

Rubio’s comment was met with cheers from the audience. Rubio told a story of a couple that he met that are Christian missionaries in Bangladesh, a country that is primarily Muslim. The couple said that they are relying on friendly Muslims to protect them from those that wish to do to harm to them.

The environment, Rubio argued, surrounding the missionaries is a hostile environment because of reports claiming that leading political figures in America do not like Muslims.

“So there is a real impact. There is no doubt radical Islam is a danger in the world,” Rubio said.

Rubio said that if you go to any cemetery, especially Arlington National Cemetery, a visitor will see tombstones with crescent moons on them. He added that there are armed service men and women serving right along side those who are Muslim, and those Muslims love our country.

Trump responded by invoking the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and saying that he did not want to be politically correct. Trump continued saying there are problems within the Muslim community and that they do not treat women fairly, making no apologies for his comments.

Rubio had a ready retort.

“I’m not interested in being politically correct. I’m interested in being correct,” Rubio said.

He said that we are going to have to work with Muslims, who have not been radicalized, around the world, naming the Jordanian Kingdom and the Sunnis as examples.

“We are going to have to work with people of the Muslim faith,” Rubio said. “Even as Islam faces a serious crisis within it.”

Alyssa Canobbio   Email | Full Bio | RSS
Alyssa Canobbio is a Media Analyst for the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Beacon, she worked as a Communications Associate for Americans for Tax Reform. Alyssa is originally from New Jersey and lives in Arlington, Virginia. In her free time she enjoys sailing, craft beer, and watching the Steelers and the Phillies. Her Twitter handle is @AlyssaEinDC. She can be reached at

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