The top Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, said Wednesday in New Hampshire that if he wins, he will send all the Syrian refugees back. At a rally, Trump suggested that the refugees that the U.S. has agreed to take in might be a terrorist army in hiding. “They’re going back,” Trump said to thunderous applause. “And if I lose, I guess they’re staying. But if I win, they’re going back.”
Trump made his case for deporting these refugees: “Did you ever see a migration like that?” he asked. “They’re all men, and they’re all strong-looking guys…There are so many men; there aren’t that many women. And I’m saying to myself: Why aren’t they fighting to save Syria? Why are they migrating all over Europe? Seriously.” Trump went on to say that these refugees have no identification, and it’s unknown where exactly they are from.
“Military tactics are very interesting,” Trump said. “This could be one of the great tactical ploys of all time. A 200,000 man army, maybe. Or if they sent 50,000 or 80,000 or 100,000… That could be possible. I don’t know that it is, but it could be possible.”
Clearly, Trump has not been watching the news footage. Clearly, a majority of the refugees are women and children. Trump’s statement was his way of sticking it to Pope Francis who appealed to the U.S. and the world to show mercy to these suffering human beings.
At Jeb Bush’s town hall Wednesday evening in New Hampshire, a Syrian-American woman teared up when she asked Bush how he would address the refugee crisis. When he was told about Trump’s remarks after the event, Bush sharply criticized Trump saying, “Send them all back? To a hellhole? This is the same guy, by the way, that is also advocating exactly what seems to be supportive of Putin and his emergence in Syria. That’s not the proper policy for the United States.”
Wednesday, Mitt Romney also blasted Trump for saying that the U.S. should let Putin and Isis fight each other, and pick up the pieces. Romney said it was statements like this that would result in Trump not being the Republican nominee. Stay tuned for Trump’s tweets about Romney.
The Syrian statement came on the same day that the latest Suffolk/USA Today poll was released. The poll shows that Trump is still on top by a wide margin with 23 percent. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina are tied for second, ten points behind Trump with 13 percent each. Rubio had the support of nine percent and Jeb Bush had 8 percent. This is a big drop for Bush since the last Suffolk poll.
Trump is still on top, but there are some signs of trouble for him within the data according David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “Trump is the Jekyll and Hyde candidate — strong when among conservative voters but viewed much differently once Democrats and independents are in the mix,” Trump’s negative rating is quite high, he added.
Moreover, when respondents were asked to describe Mr. Trump in a single word, most had very unflattering things to say. Among the most common word associations were: idiot, jerk, stupid, dumb, arrogant, crazy, nuts, buffoon, clown, comical and joke. Even many of the Trump supporters used some of these words to describe their candidate of choice.
Carly Fiorina was widely seen as “smart, intelligent and knowledgeable” by many respondents. Still, people also had doubts about her. Significant numbers view her as being dishonest and untrustworthy.
It is quite unlikely that Trump’s latest statement will hurt him. It is certain, however, that a Trump presidency would break all records for deficits. His tax plan is said to result in a $12 trillion dollar deficit over a decade. The cost of deporting 11.5 million Hispanic immigrants and 200,000 Syrian refugees will add to that deficit. Listening to the cheers in New Hampshire, however, Trump’s supporters feel that would be money well spent. Perhaps, Trump will advocate melting down the Statue of Liberty next, or at least removing the inscription.