From Eliza Collings writing at Politico:
While many in the GOP are fiercely condemning Donald Trump for his proposal to temporarily ban all Muslim from entering the U.S., there’s a whole lot of other Republicans who are saying, hey, he has a point.
From established party figures such as Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum to the more hardcore right-wing personalities such as Ann Coulter, numerous Republicans are either stopping short of condemning Trump’s audacious proposal or are outright applauding the billionaire businessman as finally offering a commonsense solution to terrorism threats.
They are offering a glimpse into why Trump has continued to zoom ahead in the polls, despite a series of jaw-dropping comments that the many in the media, and now the White House, have presented as not only offensive but disqualifying for the leader of the free world.
Santorum, who is at the bottom of the polls in the GOP race, aligned himself with the man at the top in a radio interview on Sirius XM’s “Breitbart News Daily” Tuesday, while stopping short of endorsing his proposal. The former Pennsylvania senator said that he hasn’t proposed banning all Muslims, “but a lot of them.”
“I’ve proposed actual concrete things and immigration law that would have – not the effect of banning all Muslims, but a lot of them because we need to get rid of the visa lottery system, which is the way in which a lot of radicals have come into this country,” Santorum said.
“I think the way Trump has proposed it, it may have some constitutional infirmity. We can do it in a more practical way than in the way Donald Trump is suggesting,” he continued.
Cruz caused even more waves by repeatedly saying that Trump’s proposal is “not my policy” but refusing to outright condemn the billionaire businessman whose voters could conceivably move over to Cruz in significant numbers if Trump implodes.
“I do not agree with his proposal. I do not think it is the right solution,” Cruz said Tuesday as he unveiled his own plan to protect against Islamic terrorism. Twice Cruz said he did not agree with Trump, before praising him.
“I like Donald Trump,” Cruz said. “I commend Donald Trump for standing up and focusing America’s attention on the need to secure our borders.”