President Barack Obama criticized anti-terrorism statements from Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, saying their proposals are “un-American.”
Both presidential candidates suggested that Muslim neighborhoods should be under surveillance for terrorist activity.
Obama compared their plans to the brutality of the Castro regime in Cuba. “I just left a country that engages in that kind of neighborhood surveillance,” he said, referring to Cuba. “Which, by the way, the father of Ted Cruz escaped for America, the land of the free.”
Obama praised what he described as the successful integrated and patriotic Muslim-American community, which he argued was different than the “ghettoized” experiences of many Muslims in Europe.
“Any approach that would single them out or target them for discrimination is not only wrong and un-American, but it would also be counter-productive because it would reduce the strength—the antibodies we have to resist terrorism,” he said.
Obama called the proposal a “slippery slope” that made “absolutely no sense” and was “contrary to who we are.”
He also criticized Donald Trump’s suggestion that the United States should “carpet bomb” Islamic State terrorists.
“Not only is that inhumane, not only is that contrary to our values, but that would likely be an extraordinary mechanism for ISIL to recruit more people willing to die and explode bombs in an airport or in a metro station,” he said. “That’s not a smart strategy.”