George Pataki: Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban ‘So un-American’

Presidential hopeful George Pataki, former Governor of New York, speaks during the 2016 Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Candidates Forum in Washington, DC, December 3, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Washington, DC

GOP presidential candidate George Pataki says GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s statement on banning Muslims from entering the United States is extreme and “so un-American.”

“I think he’s driving the conversation over the edge,” Pataki told SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily host Stephen K. Bannon on Wednesday. “It is not the way Americans think.”

“We want to protect ourselves, not discriminate,” he added. “The idea that all Muslims who are coming to America pose a threat is absurd.”

However, like Trump, Pataki said in order to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS), “We should be ramping up our destruction of the oil fields.”

Pataki also said he doesn’t think the United States should take in Syrian refugees.

“I would not take one Syrian refugee,” Pataki said, saying it’s impossible to vet them properly. “We have to shut down radical Islam.”

“You have to embrace our allies,” like Egypt and Jordan in the fight against the ISIS, Pataki explained, adding, “I would encourage the Turks to switch sides. They’ve basically been helping ISIS” with their porous border, allowing ISIS to go back and forth.

“We have got to destroy ISIS on the ground,” Pataki said, saying their social media centers and recruiting hubs must be shut down.

Pataki said that under the Obama administration “all aid in Iraq goes through Bagdad,” and because of that policy, the Kurds and Sunnis aren’t getting the training the funding the support they need to fight ISIS.

“What we want to do is defend America and Americans,” Pataki emphasized, saying he disagrees with fellow GOP presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). “I’m not for sending thousands of troops for a decade again to try to create a democracy.”

“Turkey has been a problem,” he added, when Bannon asked about how Pataki would handle Turkey in light of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s allegation that Turkey has been profiting from ISIS.

“Obviously, Turkey and Russia are engaged temporarily…they’re economically at war with each other,” Pataki explained. “The Turks, I believe, are starting to realize ISIS is not their friend.”

Pataki and Bannon then discussed how to stop radial Islam domestically.

“I’ve been calling for six months for us to do everything in our power to shut down the ability…to use social media to encourage violent jihad,” Pataki told Bannon. “I’m a believer in the First Amendment. It’s under threat at our college campuses…[but]… I believe we have the authority to shut down [at] the cost of violence.”

“I would shut down all of their internet capabilities,” he stressed. “I would prosecute anyone who encourages Americans to violence in the name of jihad.”

“If we actually had formally declared war with ISIS, then it’s aiding and abetting the enemy,” Pataki said, saying anyone who would communicate with them would be committing treason.

Pataki told Bannon he thought Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s speech to Muslims, ignoring radical Islam and instead discussing hate speech, was “despicable.”

Lynch had said she would prosecute hate speech against Muslims.

“I found [it] despicable. Instead of calling out Muslim jihadists…she warned the American people and I found it despicable,” he said. “If you engage in anti-Muslim rhetoric…she’s going to prosecute you.”

He said he believes the United States should declare war against ISIS and destroy them, and Pataki mocked that if that’s hate speech, “Come along. Make my day, arrest me.”