“I think this whole notion that somehow we can just say no more Muslims, just ban a whole religion, goes against everything we stand for and believe in,” Cheney said Monday on Hugh Hewitt’s conservative radio show, according to The Washington Post. “I mean, religious freedom has been a very important part of our history and where we came from. A lot of people, my ancestors got here, because they were Puritans.”
“There wasn’t anybody here then when they came,” he added. (Cheney himself drew criticism from Gawker and many people on Twitter for this statement that seemed to dismiss the existence of Native Americans.)
It was a surprising stance for the former vice president, who is widely known for his hawkish views on foreign policy. Cheney joins political figures on both sides of the aisle who have condemned Trump’s anti-Muslim immigration proposal, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said at a press conference Tuesday that Trump’s plan violates the Constitution and is “not who we are as a party.”
“This is not conservatism,” the Wisconsin representative added. “Some of our best and biggest allies in this struggle and fight against radical Islam terror are Muslims.”
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, meanwhile, called Trump’s proposal “deeply offensive” and “morally reprehensible.” It “runs counter to the U.S. Constitution” and threatens national security, he added.
“The fact is, what Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies him from serving as president,” Earnest said in a press briefing Tuesday, according to CNN.
Earnest also called on the other GOP candidates to condemn a Trump presidency, saying, “What we need to see is a definitive statement from every candidate for the presidency about whether or not Mr. Trump is somebody they should vote for. I think their statements about this pledge they have taken to support Mr. Trump will speak volumes, as will the silence.”
Also among those disavowing Trump’s proposal are Jeb Bush, who tweeted that the billionaire businessman was “unhinged,” and Hillary Clinton, who tweeted that the idea was “reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive.”
Clinton also lashed out at Trump in an Instagram post that declared “Love trumps hate.” She captioned the image, “Tell Donald Trump: Hate is not an American value.”
Longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin also protested Trump’s plan, writing in an email to supporters, “I’m a proud Muslim – but you don’t have to share my faith to share my disgust. Trump wants to literally write racism into our law books.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders labeled Trump a demagogue and suggested the real estate mogul’s rhetoric would only weaken the U.S. as a country.
“Demagogues throughout our history have attempted to divide us based on race, gender, sexual orientation or country of origin. Now, Trump and others want us to hate all Muslims. The United States is a great nation when we stand together. We are a weak nation when we allow racism and xenophobia to divide us,” Sanders said in a statement.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie slammed Trump’s plan on the Michael Medved radio show, saying, “This is the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don’t know what they are talking about. We do not need to resort to that type of activity nor should we. What we need to do is to increase our intelligence activities. We need to cooperate with peaceful Muslim Americans who want to give us intelligence against those who are radicalized.”
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said of Trump’s proposal, “That is not my policy. I have introduced legislation in the Senate that would put in place a three year moratorium on refugees coming from countries where ISIS or al Qaeda control a substantial amount of territory. And the reason is that is where the threat is coming from.”
Trump on Monday called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
Claiming research shows “there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population,” Trump said in a press release, “Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”
Later that night, Trump doubled down on his plan and dismissed his critics during a rally on the USS Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
“We are the noisy majority,” he told a crowd of 500 supporters, who responded with cheers. “We used to call it the quiet majority, but people are fed up – they are fed up with incompetence, they are fed up with stupid leaders, they are fed up with stupid people.”
“We need a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States while we figure out what the hell is going on,” he reiterated, prompting the audience to stand up and let out a huge roar of approval.
“I wrote something today that was very salient, very important,” Trump said, adding that it was “probably not politically correct.”
“But. I. Don’t. Care,” he added in a stage whisper. “We are out of control. We have no idea who’s coming into this country. We have no idea if they love us or hate us. We have no idea if they want to bomb us.”
Meanwhile, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos offered up another idea on Monday and it came with its own hashtag – #sendDonaldtospace.
In his fourth-ever tweet, Bezos, who owns The Washington Post and a private space company Blue Origin, wrote in response to several critical tweets from Trump, “Finally trashed by @realDonaldTrump. Will still reserve him a seat on the Blue Origin rocket. #sendDonaldtospace.”
The Twitterverse loudly sounded its approval.
“This is the best idea I’ve seen all year. #sendDonaldtospace,” Twitter user @kiddle replied.
Another user fined-tuned Bezos’ proposal, suggesting: “One way ticket please.”