Paris attacks: Republican presidential hopefuls weigh in

Preparations underway for Saturday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Nov. 14, 2015. All three Democratic candidates issued statements of solidarity with France on Friday, and planned to make their own cases about fighting terrorism on Saturday night. (Ruth Fremson/The New York Times)
Caption
Preparations underway for Saturday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Nov. 14, 2015. All three Democratic candidates issued statements of solidarity with France on Friday, and planned to make their own cases about fighting terrorism on Saturday night. (Ruth Fremson/The New York Times)

Des Moines, Iowa -- We're still a few hours away from tonight's Democratic debate here at Drake University, but the political machine continues to churn. And firmly in its clutches are the attacks in Paris, the future of the refugee movement and what the next American president should do.

Nearly every major party presidential candidate has sent condolences to the people of Frances and vowed solidarity with the global effort to eradicate terror. The Democratic hopefuls -- Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley -- are expected to face questions about the attacks and the proper response.

Their Republican opponents are weighing in, too.

Marco Rubio, the Republican U.S. senator from Florida, emailed supporters to say the fight is a "civilizational war:"

"This is not a geopolitical grievance that these people have with us. This is basically, they believe the entire world needs to believe in what they believe in, or you die."

Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz called the terrorists "evil," in a statement, and said the attackers won't discriminate in their effort to kill as many as possible. Cruz said the U.S. must re-think its plan allow refugees to emigrate:

"We need to consult closely with our NATO allies who may be targeted for additional attacks. We need to immediately declare a halt to any plans to bring refugees that may have been infiltrated by ISIS to the United States. We need to redouble our efforts to prevent ISIS agents from penetrating our nation by other means."

Retired surgeon Ben Carson, too, rejected any plan to bring refugees from Syria and Iraq to the United States:

"If we're going to be bringing 200,000 people over here from that region -- if I were one of the leaders of the global jihadist movement and I didn't infiltrate that group of people with my people, that would be almost malpractice," he said.

Deadline.com

Explorereports that Donald Trump

rued the lack of armed citizens in France:

“You can say what you want,” Trump told the Texans, “but if they had guns, if our people had guns, if they were allowed to carry, it would have been a much, much different situation.” 

Carly Fiorina doubled down. The former HP executive questioned the refugee plan and placed blame for the attacks at the feet of President Barack Obama. From a speech today in Florida:

"I am angry that President Obama unilaterally decides that we'll accept up to 100,000 Syrian refugees while his administration admits we cannot determine their ties to terrorism.   Mostly I am outraged because the murder, mayhem, danger and tragedy we see unfolding in Paris, throughout the Middle East and too often in our own homeland, are the direct consequence of this administration's policies. You cannot lead from behind."

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee helpfully provided a four-point plan, should he win the White House. In a statement, Huckabee said he would:

  1.  Close our borders instead of Guantanamo.
  2.  Institute an immediate moratorium on admission to those persons from countries where there is strong presence of ISIS or Al-Qaeda.
  3.  Build a coalition that will include NATO, Russia, and nations of the Middle East to aggressively destroy ISIS.  Nations who refuse to participate will be sanctioned and isolated.
  4.  Revoke any agreement with Iran regarding their nuclear capacity.  Radical Islamists, whether Sunni or Shia, are a clear and present danger to civilization."