An Obama administration spokesman criticized Donald Trump’s remark that all Muslims should be banned from entering the United States.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that Trump’s comment disqualifies him from taking office. “What Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies him from serving as president,” he said.
Earnest’s criticism comes after the Republican candidate said there should be a “total and complete shutdown” imposed on all Muslims entering the country in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting where a married couple gunned down 14 people. The White House urged the Republican presidential candidates to say “right now” that they did not support Trump as president. Every president pledges to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” Earnest said.
Trump defended his stand, comparing the banning of Muslims from entering the U.S. to the detainment of Japanese-Americans during the World War II.
RTE.ie reports that leaders from both parties, along with the prime ministers of the UK and France, and leaders from United Nations reprehended Trump’s statement.
Earnest further said that any Republican candidate who supports what Trump said is also not qualified to be the commander in chief. “Any Republican who is too fearful of the Republican base to admit it has no business service as president, either,” he added. He further compared the billionaire real estate mogul to a “carnival barker.” Earnest said that Trump’s statement was “entirely inconsistent with the kinds of values that were central to the founding of this country.”
According to The Hill, several White House officials said that Trump rhetoric “makes it much harder” for the United States to develop relationships with Muslim groups to bring down radicalized militant groups.
On Sunday, Obama asked the people of the nation to not succumb to Islamophobia in the wake of growing terrorism. “We cannot turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between America and Islam,” Obama said. “If we’re to succeed in defeating terrorism we must enlist Muslim communities as some of our strongest allies, rather than push them away through suspicion and hate.”