Tea Party activists from around the country tell Breitbart News that Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who on Sunday criticized surging GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson’s recent statements on the role of Islam in American politics, misses the main point.
Appearing On Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo,” Graham called on Dr. Carson to apologize for his remarks that he would “not support” a person of Muslim faith for the presidency:
I think Dr. Carson needs to apologize to [a Muslim who grew up in Kabul and now serves in the U.S. Army] and every other Muslim serving their country and to the American Muslim community. And if he understood the world and how dangerous it is he would not say things like this. We have to partner with people in the faith to destroy radical Islam. And most Muslims throughout the world reject what radical Islam is trying to do to the world and their faith. This is an example to me that Mr. Carson may be a good doctor, but he is not ready to lead a great nation.
Tea Party activists who spoke with Breitbart News about Graham’s call for Dr. Carson to apologize for his remarks set forth the view that Islamists pose a threat to the Constitution. Constitutionally limited government is one of the three core values of the Tea Party movement. The other two core values are fiscal responsibility and free markets.
“I have to agree with Dr. Carson here,” Joe Dugan, founder and coordinator of the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention in Graham’s home state, tells Breitbart News.
“Apparently the remarks just flew over Sen. Graham’s head or he used them to grandstand his own virtuosity,” Dugan says.
“This is not about one’s choice of religion but is totally about Muslim views that are in total conflict with our Constitution,” Dugan adds.
“Lindsey’s criticism of Carson’s comment is a prime example of his disconnect from common sense and reality in general,” long-time Virginia Tea Party activist Mark Kevin Lloyd tells Breitbart News.
“It’s not about religion, it’s not about race, it is simply about protecting American lives and freedom. Any aware and honest person understands Sharia Law is not compatible with the Constitution our presidents take an oath to uphold. It is long past time for plain and simple truth to be spoken,” Lloyd concludes.
“The call for apology is rich coming from a whiny loud mouth best known for slandering millions of patriotic Americans as ‘bigots’ simply for believing we have a right to our own borders,” Dallas Tea Party co-founder Ken Emanuelson tells Breitbart News.
“Dr. Carson has since explained that he wouldn’t support a theocratic Islamist for President. On that score, he stands with most Americans,” Emanuelson adds.
“I believe it is a cynical attempt by Lindsey Graham to gain ink-and-air for his own struggling presidential campaign,” long time California Tea Party activist Christina Botteri tells Breitbart News.
“Because Mr. Graham has staked out the Middle East as his exclusive wheelhouse, I suspect the Senator believes he can burnish his singular bone fide and convert the additional notoriety into upward momentum for his current ‘campaign to nowhere,’ ” Botteri adds.
“Furthermore,” she concludes, “entire hypothetical subject of the personal faith of a possible future candidate is a distraction not worthy of another minute of discussion [in the news cycle]. The time spent talking about this is time not spent discussing how to stop out-of-control government spending, overreach, and rampant unaccountability; or how to address the number one concern of Americans: growing the economy and creating more jobs.”
“America is a nation of ideas and the ideas should compete. A lot of people believe Islam is nothing more than a political system cloaked in the guise of a religion,” Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, tells Breitbart News.
“Why can’t Ben Carson say these things and let America debate them? Why are liberals like Lindsay Graham so anxious to stop any debate on any idea they disagree with?” Phillips asks.
“Calling for someone to be silenced, especially coming from a candidate for the President of these United States, where Freedom of Speech is inviolable is classic leftist political correctness,” Zan Green, founder of Birmingham Alabama’s Rainy Day Patriots Tea Party, says of Graham’s call for Carson to apologize.
“As Dr. Carson put it recently, the press needs to take an English lesson and understand the answers he presented quite elegantly. ‘Sharia has no place in our Country and no place in our Constitution,’” long-time Montana Tea Party activist Eric Olsen tells Breitbart News.
“Graham, like so many in the PC crowd, extracts a sound bite from a broader commentary, in this case Carson’s discussion of Islam and the presidency,” Mark Skoda, a Tea Party activist from Tennessee, tells Breitbart News.
“Islam is fundamentally a political and religious ideology,” Skoda adds.
“Carson was reflecting on the fact that all too many in the Muslim community are antagonistic to the values expressed in our Constitution. Not all, but many. And recognizing this fundamental difference is no more problematic than saying an avowed Communist shouldn’t be president. He should not apologize for his ruminations on a question that was hypothetical in nature,” Skoda concludes.
“I just wonder if Graham has had this conversation with his buddy, John McCain? Or does it only anger him when the person saying it is a conservative Christian? Double standard much, Lindsey?,” Dr. Gina Loudon, an early Tea Party organizer and currently host of America Trends with Dr. Gina, tells Breitbart News.
With Dr. Carson continuing to rise in the polls and Senator Graham unable to move above 1 percent, most Republican primary voters appear to share the views expressed by these Tea Party activists to Breitbart News.