Republican presidential candidates criticized President Barack Obama's Syrian refugee plan
GOP contenders also raised concerns about U.S. border security
Foreign policy is the new focus on the 2016 campaign trail in the wake of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, marking a fresh chapter in the race for the White House that has so far focused on issues such as immigration, the economy and bringing change to Washington.
Republican presidential candidates raised red flags about U.S. border security and the admission of Syrian refugees Sunday in the wake of the Paris attacks. Democrats, meanwhile, pointed to new challenges – with Hillary Clinton calling ISIS an “unusually effective threat” and Bernie Sanders saying climate change remains crucial to national security.
As President Barack Obama huddled at an international summit in Turkey with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and other world leaders, several GOP White House contenders faulted him for failing to take the rise of the ISIS more seriously and called on Obama to revisit plans to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, issued a dire warning, saying that “there’s another 9/11 coming and it’s coming from Syria.”
“I believe the United States and the world needs to go on offense and stop the reason people have to leave Syria,” Graham said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “The good people are leaving because they’re being raped and murdered and some terrorists are trying to get in their ranks. The best thing the world could do for Syrian people is to create a safe haven within Syria, a no-fly zone.”
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called for a “thorough screening” of those refugees in an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“I think we need to be obviously very, very cautious,” Bush said.
But Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said the United States shouldn’t take any of those refugees at all on ABC’s “This Week.”
“We won’t be able to take more refugees,” he said. “It’s not that we don’t want to, it’s that we can’t. Because there’s no way to background check someone that’s coming from Syria. Who do you call and do a background check on them?”
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum agreed, saying that “under no circumstances” should the United States take Syrian refugees.
“By taking in persecuted Christians, Jews, and moderate Muslims, we are complicit in helping ISIS accomplish their goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate,” Santorum said in a statement. “Without Christians, Jews, or moderate Muslims in the region, radical Islam will be allowed to run rampant.”
On “Fox News Sunday,” Ben Carson said the West should “wage a counter-war against them utilizing social media, and all the same mechanisms that they use.” He also opposed allowing Syrian refugees into the United States.
“Bringing people into this country from that area of the world I think is a huge mistake,” he said. “Because why wouldn’t they i