Republican and Democratic presidential candidates have condemned Donald Trump for his recent statements suggesting the United States should start a database registry of Muslims.
In an interview with NBC News, Trump was asked if a database tracking Muslims in the country was something he would implement if elected president.
"Should there be a database system that tracks the Muslims here in this country?" the NBC News reporter asked Trump.
"There should be a lot of systems, beyond database [sic], we should have a lot of systems, and today you can do it," Trump replied. "But right now we have to have a border, we have to have strength, we have to have a wall. And we cannot let what’s happening to this country happen."
"But that’s something your White House would like to implement?" the reporter subsequently asked.
“I would certainly implement that. Absolutely,” Trump said.
Trump subsequently tweeted that he never called for such an idea, and that the NBC reporter imposed it on him.
I didn't suggest a database-a reporter did. We must defeat Islamic terrorism & have surveillance, including a watch list, to protect America— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2015
“I find it abhorrent that Donald Trump is suggesting that we register people,” Jeb Bush said on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “That haunts back to a time that no one wants to go back to.”
Ohio Gov. John Kasich tweeted similar sentiments:
Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both voiced their disapproval. Sanders called the statement “outrageous and bigoted” and Clinton mentioned Trump by name while speaking in Nashville, Tennessee, Friday night.
"Part of why we are great already, Mr. Trump, is because we have the most unusual ability to bring people here and turn them into Americans," she said.
Ted Cruz, who has mostly stayed away from engaging Trump this election season, rejected the idea of registries as a whole, saying they violated First Amendment rights, according to Politico.
Ben Carson called for a database for all foreigners entering the United States, not just Muslims.
If we don't have a way to monitor every foreign person entering this country, then we are being negligent in our duty to protect America.— Dr. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson) November 20, 2015
He specifically noted that singling out Muslims would be a “dangerous” precedent. “I don't think it's a good idea to treat anybody differently,” he said in New Hampshire after filing for the state's primary. ”One of the hallmarks of America is that we treat everybody the same. So if we are just going to pick out a particular group of people based on religion, based on their race, based on some other thing, that's setting a pretty dangerous precedent I believe.”