The GOP presidential candidates in the lower tier debate Tuesday pounced on frontrunner Donald Trump’s plan to ban foreign Muslims from the U.S., with Lindsey Graham calling it a 'coup' for the Islamic State.
Graham and the others argued that targeting the Islam religion will only fulfill the terror group’s prophecy of fighting a future holy war.
“ISIS would be dancing in the streets, but they don’t dance,” said the South Carolina senator. “Declaring war on a religion will only help ISIS.”
Graham’s comment follows a series of deadly bombing attacks last month in Paris and the Dec. 2 massacre in San Bernardino, Calif., in which the attackers appear to have at least been inspired by the Islamic State.
Trump, in response, last week called for a temporary ban on Muslims coming into the country, at least until the U.S. intelligence community can improve its screening process.
Rick Santorum, another GOP White House candidate and former Pennsylvania senator, said in the lower tier debate that he disagrees with Trump’s sweeping plan, but added, “We also have to take this country from those who want to harm us.”