Following Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in Brussels, both Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and his main rival Ted Cruz decided they would try and use the tragedy to their political advantage. Trump was roundly criticized for his multiple tweets about the event, none of which mentioned any support or sympathy for the victims. Cruz, on the other hand, did offer a one sentence show of support before launching into his political diatribe. Then he went completely off the rails.
A little later in the day, Cruz offered this idea:
We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.
Yes, Ted Cruz thinks it would be a good idea to have “anti-terrorism patrols” in Muslim communities. Of course the first obvious problem with that idea is that many American Muslims don’t live in “Muslim communities.” They’re just like Christians, Jews, atheists and others — they live in ethnically and religiously mixed apartment complexes, housing developments, etc. But never let the facts get in the way of a Republican attempting to appeal to his or her know-nothing “base.”
Cruz appeared on “CBS This Morning” on March 23 to defend his plan. It did not go well for him.
After introducing Cruz, host Charlie Rose plays a clip of NYPD Commissioner William Bratton’s comments on the idea. Bratton savaged Cruz when the latter first proposed the idea on Tuesday, and he did so again when speaking to Rose before Cruz’s appearance. Bratton says,
He doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. Quite frankly I took great offense at that statement. I have almost 1,000 Muslim officers in the NYPD. Ironically, when he’s running around here, we probably have a few Muslim officers guarding him.
And how does Cruz respond to that criticism? The same way he always does, by blaming Democrats. This time he accuses Bratton of being a “henchman” of Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio. For the record, Bratton has served as police chief in Boston and Los Angeles as well as NYC, where he is on his second stint as commissioner. He was first appointed NYPD commissioner in 1994 by Republican mayor Rudy Giuliani.
“It couldn’t be because he simply thinks that patrolling Muslim neighborhoods is a bad thing to do, in the interest of New York?” Rose asks. Cruz of course doesn’t have a real answer to that question.
But it is host Norah O’Donnell who really puts Cruz in his place. After Cruz explains that his idea would be similar to programs where police go into communities to fight gang violence, O’Donnell observes that a surveillance program that had been put into place in NYC by former mayor Bloomberg “didn’t lead to any leads… they said it didn’t work.”
Then O’Donnell asks Cruz the so-called “$50 million” question — “How many Muslims are in America?”
A sheepish looking Cruz responds, “I don’t know the number off the top of my head.”
O’Donnell isn’t finished schooling Cruz. She continues,
There are three million Muslims in America. We have a chief of police [Bratton]… who said that there are no ‘Muslim neighborhoods’ in America. It’s not like Europe. It doesn’t exist that way.
It is also worth noting that a 2012 report issued by the “Muslim Public Affairs Council” produced data that revealed the following:
- There have been more terror plots within the U.S. by non-Muslim groups than by Muslims
- The vast majority of terror plots by Muslim groups have been prevented by law enforcement
- The information provided to police that helped foil most of those plots came from other Muslims
By the time the hosts were finished with him, Cruz probably wished that he was in a more comfortable situation, like being a protester at a Donald Trump rally. He is obviously used to being interviewed by “reporters” who are willing to let him get away with his nonsense. At “CBS This Morning,” the hosts were having none of it.
Here’s the video, via YouTube:
Featured image via YouTube screen capture