Following the six coordinated attacks that killed at least 120 people in Paris on Friday, many of the presidential candidates have retooled their familiar stump speeches. Over the weekend, candidates shifted focus from issues like taxes and the minimum wage to questions of national security, ISIS, and, particularly among Republican contenders, the Obama administration's decision to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees.
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On the Republican side, several candidates turned the violence in Paris into an opportunity to sound an alarm about the U.S. accepting refugees fleeing the longstanding and deadly humanitarian crisis in Syria.
Here's what else they said:
"We all have heart and we all want people taken care of, but with the problems our country has, to take in 250,000—some of whom are going to have problems, big problems—is just insane," Trump said at a campaign event in Texas over the weekend. "We have to be insane. Terrible." (Trump did not offer how he came up with 250,000, a number that is 25 times greater than the number of refugees the Obama administration has agreed to accept.)
Trump also blamed the violence on France's gun safety restrictions.
"You can say what you want, but if they had guns, if our people had guns, if they were allowed to carry, it would've been a much, much different situation," Trump claimed.
"The problem is not the background checks," Rubio said Sunday on The Week when asked about the Obama administration's plan to accept refugees from Syria. "The problem is we can't background check them. You can't pick up the phone and call Syria. And that's one of the reasons why I said we won't be able to take more refugees. It's not that we don't want to; it's that we can't because there's no way to background check someone that's coming from Syria."
"In the case of what's happening in Europe, this is a swarm of refugees. And as I've said repeatedly over the last few months, you can have 1,000 people come in and 999 of them are just poor people fleeing oppression and violence but one of them is an ISIS fighter," he continued.
"We can’t roll the dice with the safety of Americans and bring in people for whom there is an unacceptable risk that they could be jihadists coming here to kill Americans," Cruz said over the weekend, according to a report from The Washington Post. "We just saw in Paris what happens when a country allows ISIS terrorists to come in as refugees and the result can be a horrific loss of life."
“Bringing people into this country from that area of the world, I think, is a huge mistake,” Carson said on Fox News Sunday. "Because why wouldn’t they infiltrate them with people who are ideologically opposed to us? It would be foolish for them not to do that."
“We should use our expertise and resources to help get them resettled—over there—and to support them over there," he continued. "But to bring them here under these circumstances is a suspension of intellect. You know that the human brain has these big frontal lobes, as opposed to other animals, because we can engage in rational thought processing."
"The great majority of refugees need to be safely kept in Syria, which means the safe zones need to be serious," Bush said Sunday on Meet the Press. "I do think we have a responsibility to help with refugees after proper screening. And I think our focus ought to be on the Christians who have no place in Syria anymore. They're being beheaded, they're being executed by both sides. And I think we have a responsibility to help."
“I don’t think we need to be admitting large amounts of Syrian refugees into our country,” Paul said at a campaign event in Florida.
"I am angry that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton declared victory in Iraq in 2011, abandoned all of our hard-won gains for political expediency and contrary to the advice of every general that spoke with them, thus leaving vast swaths of territory and too much weaponry to be gobbled up by ISIS," Fiorina said at the Sunshine Summit in Florida, a gathering of state Republicans.
"Today, NATO should invoke Article 5 of our NATO agreement, which basically says an attack on an ally is an attack on us and an attack on all of the Western world," Kasich said at the Sunshine Summit. "We as Americans must assert leadership and we need to stand shoulder to shoulder with France and the French people. This is a moment to bring us together."
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Each of the Democrats at the second presidential debate on Saturday night expressed support for the plan to accept 10,000 refugees, while Martin O'Malley and Hillary Clinton called to up that number to 65,000. (Bernie Sanders, for his part, said there is no "magic number.") Other details about the U.S. response to ISIS, however, remained vague.
Here's what else they said:
"I think that we have to look at ISIS as the leading threat of an international terror network. It cannot be contained, it must be defeated," Clinton said Saturday at the debate. "There is no question in my mind that if we summon our resources, both our leadership resources and all of the tools at our disposal, not just military force, which should be used as a last resort, but our diplomacy, our development aid, law enforcement, sharing of intelligence in a much more open and cooperative way—that we can bring people together."
"But it cannot be an American fight," she continued. "And I think what the president has consistently said—which I agree with—is that we will support those who take the fight to ISIS."
"But, of course, international terrorism is a major issue that we have got to address today. And I agree with much of what the Secretary and the Governor have said. But let me have one area of disagreement with the Secretary," Sanders said at the debate before launching into a critique of Clinton's vote to invade Iraq. "I think she said something like the bulk of the responsibility is not ours. Well, in fact, I would argue that the disastrous invasion of Iraq, something that I strongly opposed, has unraveled the region completely and led to the rise of al-Qaeda and to ISIS."
"Now, in fact, what we have got to do—and I think there is widespread agreement here—is the United States cannot do it alone," he continued. "What we need to do is lead an international coalition which includes very significantly the Muslim nations in that region who are going to have to fight and defend their way of life."
"This actually is America's fight. It cannot solely be America's fight," O'Malley said Saturday. "America is best when we work in collaboration with our allies. America is best when we are actually standing up to evil in this world. And ISIS, make no mistake about it, is an evil in this world. ISIS has brought down a Russian airliner. ISIS has now attacked a western democracy in France. And we do have a role in this. Not solely ours, but we must work collaboratively with other nations."
"The great failing of these last 10 or 15 years, John, has been our failing of human intelligence on the ground," he added. "Our role in the world is not to roam the globe looking for new dictators to topple. Our role in the world is to make ourselves a beacon of hope. Make ourselves stronger at home, but also our role in the world, yes, is also to confront evil when it rises."