"Our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad," Donald Trump said in a press release Monday

By Tierney McAfee
Updated December 07, 2015 06:10 PM
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Credit: NBC News

Donald 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.”

Trump’s release pointed to an online poll from the controversial think tank Center for Security Policy, which claimed 25 percent of Muslims living in the U.S. believe violence against Americans “is justified as a part of the global jihad.”

The shocking proposal comes one day after President Barack Obama vowed to “destroy” ISIS in a special address from the Oval Office Sunday night. By Monday, the majority of the 2016 presidential hopefuls had responded to Obama’s message in full force – and they were not impressed.

Trump, Ted Cruz and other Republican candidates have spoken out to skewer the speech the president delivered in the wake of the San Bernardino shootings that killed 14 people.

“Is that all there is? We need a new President – FAST!” Trump tweeted Sunday in response to Obama’s words. The billionaire businessman followed up with three more back-to-back tweets: “Wish Obama would say ISIS, like almost everyone else, rather than ISIL.” “Should have gone after the oil years ago (like I have been saying).” “Well, Obama refused to say (he just can’t say it), that we are at WAR with RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISTS.”

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul also took to Twitter to air his thoughts, tweeting, “The #Obamaspeech was an attempt to turn a necessary discussion on terrorism and national security into a ineffective gun control debate.”

Cruz was the first to get his two cents in, condemning the president for calling for greater gun control in the U.S. in a statement released before Obama’s address even aired. “The President should resist using terrorist attacks to try to take away the rights of law-abiding Americans,” Cruz said. “Millions of Americans have chosen to protect themselves and their families by purchasing a firearm. This is their right; indeed protecting their families is their obligation. The President should be looking to stop those who would do us harm – not attempting to take away the constitutional liberties of millions of innocent Americans.”

The Texas senator also released two new ads in Iowa Saturday, vowing to “kill the terrorists.” “If I’m elected to serve as commander in chief, we won’t cower in the face of evil,” he says in one of the spots. “We’ll rebuild our military. We’ll kill the terrorists. And every Islamic extremist will know, if you wage jihad against us, you’re signing your death warrant.”

In a Fox News interview Sunday, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Obama’s speech “may have made things worse in the minds of many Americans.”

“Nothing we heard in that speech tonight will assuage people’s fears. First of all, we heard tonight the strategy that’s brought us to this point is the strategy he’s going to continue with,” Rubio said. “I mean, he honestly believes there s a coalition fighting against ISIS. This is absurd. There’s no such coalition. A lot of country have put their names onto a piece of paper, but we continue to conduct very limited air assaults.”

“And you can’t just defeat them from an air perspective,” he continued, calling for a “substantial ground army” to fight the Islamic State.

“This is not a time for ideological silliness,” the Florida senator added in a separate statement. “This is a time for serious action because the future security of our country is at stake.”

Ohio Gov. John Kasich also called for boots on the ground in the battle against ISIS, saying in a statement, “The president’s strategy is not enough. Without taking the fight to ISIS on the ground, ISIS won’t be defeated. Since February I’ve been calling for a coalition to do that. We must stop delaying and do it.”

And former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said that what the nation really needs right now is “a war-time Commander-in-Chief who is ready to lead this country.”

“President Obama has finally been forced to abandon the political fantasy he has perpetuated for years that the threat of terrorism was receding. We need to remove the self-imposed constraints President Obama has placed on our intelligence community and military, and we need to put in place an aggressive strategy to defeat ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism as I have proposed,” Bush said in a statement. “Unfortunately, neither he nor Hillary Clinton has the resolve to put in place such a strategy. This is the war of our time. It should not be business as usual.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was equally unimpressed with Obama’s address.

“Much to do about nothing,” Christie said. “The shame of it is that the president, when we’re hit the with the worst terrorist attack on our soil since September 11th, 2001, spent a good amount of time talking about gun control last night. It’s absurd. And there’s no new strategy.”

Christie also called out Obama and Clinton for their refusal to say the U.S. is fighting “radical Islam.” “I heard Hillary Clinton, saying there are religions all over the world that have radicals who think these things,” he said. “Well listen, the bottom line is that right now what we’re fighting, Mrs. Clinton, is not radical Catholicism, it’s not radical Protestantism, it’s radical Islamic jihadism. She may not want to say it and the president might not want to say it, but that is what we’re fighting.”

In his rare Oval Office address to the nation on Sunday, Obama declared that last week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, was an “act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people.”

“The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it,” he said. “We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that confronts us. We will prevail by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless.”

The president also called on Congress to vote once and for all about how the U.S. should confront ISIS, but added that he believes America should not get “drawn into a long and costly ground war.”

He also said he wants Congress to make it “harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons,” including those on a no-fly list.

We cannot monitor every potential terrorist, he said, but “what we can do and must do is make it harder for them to kill.”