Bipartisan backlash on Donald Trump's proposed Muslim ban

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," December 8, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  What Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies him from serving as president.

REP. PAUL RYAN, R, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:  Normally I do not comment on what's going on in the presidential election.  I will take an exception today.  This is not conservatism.  What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for.

JEB BUSH, R, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  What we shouldn't do is to just, you know, say all Muslims aren't coming into our country.  It's not the about the blowhards out there just saying stuff.

REP. DAVID JOLLY, R, FLORIDA:  It is time that my side of the aisle has one less candidate in the race for the White House.  It is time for Donald Trump to withdraw from the race.


SHANNON BREAM:  All right, let's bring in our panel.  We have a little bit of breaking news, too.  Charles Hurt, political columnist for the "Washington Times," A.B. Stoddard, associate editor of "The Hill," and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer.

All right, so we have a late poll coming in from New Hampshire.  This is CNN's New Hampshire poll showing Trump at 32 percent, a commanding lead there.  Next in line Rubio at 14 percent, almost 20 points back.  And you can see the list as you go down there.  Christie has been making gains there as well.

Now the AP is just reporting that Trump is scheduled to make a visit to Jordan at the end of this month.  Of course you know they've been taking in millions of refugees from that region, and a lot of folks are abandoned there as they can't survive in their home countries at this point.

Charles, let's start with you.  What do you make of this, because obviously this poll has been taken over a number of days, but it comes in the wake of comments by Trump?  It's been repeated across the board by Democrats and Republicans alike all standing in line to repudiate it.  But it seems like the American public is OK with a lot of what the public has been saying.

CHARLES HURT, "WASHINGTON TIMES":  Shannon, I'm amazed that so many people are surprised by the remarks from Donald Trump.  We've had seven years of a president who has not taken Islamic -- radical Islamic terrorism seriously.  We've had seven years of a president who has not taken border security seriously.  And we've had seven years of people getting browbeaten for being bigots and for being racists because they're concerned about things like radical Islamic terrorism.

And when you have an environment like this, you cannot be surprised that somebody, especially somebody who is as tuned in as sort of what the American public thinks and feels at a guttural level, you can't be surprised when he comes out and says something like this that would, which is obviously highly politically incorrect.  But for a lot of people sitting out there across America, they hear this plan that we're going to ban all Muslims until we find out what the hell is going on here.  A lot of people heard that and said it's about time we did something like this.

BREAM:  A.B., his supporters point out that the second part of the statement is important, "until we find out what the hell is going on here," and that's a quote.  Sorry mom.  But the fact is they're saying, listen, it's a temporary thing.  A lot of people think that's reasonable.

A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, "THE HILL":  What's not reasonable is the way that Donald Trump belched this out yesterday without having any planning or measure factoring into this.  There was no forethought.  It was obvious.  He said, well, his spokesman said it would apply to American Muslims who were citizens who were trying to get back in potentially.  Then he said that's not true.  He said it will be temporary.  When asked when it could end or when the decks would clear or there would be an end to a pause to this moratorium, he said we'd have to just feel it or taste it or something.  He had no actual plan for this.

He made a statement.  He knew it would create a firestorm.  He loves that.  It's what he does.  He knew his supporters would agree with all of it.  But it's not a job, it's never been a job for someone who is impulsive and doesn't plan their policy matters on something that's potentially unconstitutional with a religious test, we've never had that before.  Let alone it's a complete shift in the fundamentals of this country, without planning out exactly how it would work.  You just don't do that.  It's not a job for someone who is impulsive.  So it's fine that his supporters think it's great.  It's not fine for a man who is trying to win a general election campaign in 2016.

BREAM:  I want to point to another "USA Today" poll that was also out, and this was looking at the Republican presidential nomination.  Trump at the top there.  This is of 357 likely Republican voters.  He comes in at 27.5 percent, followed by Cruz back 11 points at 16.5 percent.  But the interesting number from that as well if he ran as an independent candidate, they were asked, would you still vote for them?  These are the folks who say they're supporting Trump, 68 percent, Charles, say they would go with him if he ran as an independent.  How much of a nightmare is that for the GOP?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST:  It's a terrible nightmare.  But, look, the problem is not that he might cost them the presidency.  The problem is what he's doing to the level of American discourse.  This is at the highest level of presidential politics.  And the issue is not just that it's impulsive or unreasonable.  This is truly, deeply bigoted.  It is indefensible.

And even if you put all of that aside, which you wouldn't, but if you wanted to, and just talked about the practicality of this, he was asked, how do you police this?  He said, well, when you come through customs, the guy will ask you, are you a Muslim.  And here is Donald Trump, tough guy, right?  He's going to really -- he's competent, all the others are incompetent.  His answer is you're going to ask them, is he a Muslim.  
So here's a guy that Trump is saying is high bound to come out and kill people innocently, but he's going to be held to a George Washington cherry tree standard of not telling a lie to an infidel immigration officer.  So I think that Chris Stirewalt had an answer to this dilemma.  
He suggested that everybody come from LaGuardia, JFK, or Dulles be forced to eat a ham sandwich.  Now that, I would admit, that some people will be caught in the net who shouldn't, orthodox Jews and vegetarians.  But as Trump says, this is war, and there will be collateral damage, so we have to get serious about this.

BREAM:  Well, I find Chris Stirewalt often has very good suggestions about how to get things done.  That one sounds a little controversial.

HURT:  Usually involving food.

BREAM:  Yes, bacon.

HURT:  Pork products.

BREAM:  Interesting, after this number came out with the 68 percent who say they would follow, there was a tweet by Jeb Bush.  And he said "Maybe Donald negotiated a deal with his buddy @HillaryClinton.  Continuing this path will put her in the White House."  Also today Carly Fiorina said Trump is sort of like a gift to Hillary Clinton.  Charlie what do you say?

HURT:  You know, I think it's kind of interesting that we're almost six months into the Trump, whatever this is, and we're still talking about the same thing, which is he comes out, guns a-blazing.  He comes up with an idea to fix a problem and it's very vague and very bombastic and it gets a lot of people's attention, especially inside the beltway, and people's heads explode.  And they try to drill down to see what the policy specifics are.

And the truth of the matter is that he's not thinking policy specifics when he says stuff like this.  But when he does, take immigration, for example, and he's talking about building a great big wall with a big door and all this kind of stuff, and then when he came out with his immigration policy, it made a whole lot more sense.  And as you said, at the beginning, it does depend on what it means, what he means by figure out what the hell is going on.

And if it's simply that we need to determine that all of these people coming from Muslim countries are not affiliated with Islamic terrorism, then they can come in, that doesn't seem so unreasonable.

KRAUTHAMMER:  Let me just say one thing.  The deportation of 11 million people, which would be the largest police action in the United States since the rounding up of Japanese-Americans in the Second World War, is not a reasonable proposal.  It's a disgrace.  And this is in the same tradition.  It's not that he comes out with it and it's stunning and unplanned and the details aren't worked out.  It is fundamentally un- American.  And I think that's why people are upset.  This is injecting a poison into the body politic at the highest level, and that's where the damage is.

BREAM:  Well, we'll watch, because these polls that we've gotten in the last couple of days of course were taken prior to his comments.  So we'll see.  I mean a lot of what he's say something resonating with a lot of folks.

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