If, before the Democratic presidential debate in Iowa Saturday night, a Republican operative had been told that, in the wake of the Paris attacks: 1) Hillary Clinton would refuse to apply the phrase "radical Islam" to ISIS; 2) Bernie Sanders would maintain that climate change is a greater threat to national security than ISIS or Islamic terrorism in general; and 3) Martin O'Malley, with Clinton's agreement, would insist that the U.S. stick to a proposal to admit 65,000 Syria refugees into the country. If a Republican operative had been told that, he would have been delighted at the prospect of future ads portraying Democrats as in denial about the threat Islamic radicalism poses to the United States.
1) Clinton and "radical Islam." Moderator John Dickerson asked whether the former secretary of state agreed with Marco Rubio's use of the phrase "radical Islam" to describe ISIS and other terrorist groups. "Do you agree with that characterization, radical Islam?" Dickerson asked.
"I don't think we're at war with Islam," Clinton said. "I don't think we are at war with all Muslims. I think we're at war with jihadists who have -- "
"Just to interrupt," Dickerson said. "He didn't say all Muslims. He just said radical Islam. Is that a phrase you don't -- "