Saturday, March 12, 2016

Rubio vs Trump on Muslims, Israel and Cuba

On Muslims

Mr. Trump, let me start with you. Last night, you told CNN quote, "Islam hates us?" Did you mean all 1.6 billion Muslims.

TRUMP: I mean a lot of them. I mean a lot of them.

DINAN: Do you want to clarify the comment at all?

TRUMP: Well, you know, I've been watching the debate today. And they're talking about radical Islamic terrorism or radical Islam. But I will tell you this. There's something going on that maybe you don't know about, maybe a lot of other people don't know about, but there's tremendous hatred. And I will stick with exactly what I said to Anderson Cooper.


DINAN: Senator Rubio, your supporter, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, said in response to Mr. Trump's comment last night, I'm sorry -- Senator Jeff Flake, I apologize. Your supporter, Republican Senator Jeff Flake said in response to that comment, Republicans are better than this. Do you agree?

RUBIO: Well, let me say, I know that a lot of people find appeal in the things Donald says cause he says what people wish they could say. The problem is, presidents can't just say anything they want. It has consequences, here and around the world.


RUBIO: And so let me give you one. Two days ago, I met this extraordinary couple who were on furlough because they are missionaries in Bangladesh. It's a very tough place to be a missionary. It's Muslim.

And their safety and security very much relies upon friendly Muslims that live along side them, that may not convert, but protect them and certainly look out for them. And their mission field really are Muslims that are looking to convert to Christianity as well. And they tell me that today they have a very hostile environment in which to operate in because the news is coming out that in America, leading political figures are saying that America doesn't like Muslims. So this is a real impact. There's no doubt that radical Islam is a danger in the world.

I can also tell you if you go to any national cemetery, especially Arlington, you're going to see crescent moons there. If you go anywhere in the world you're going see American men and women serving us in uniform that are Muslims.


RUBIO: And they love America. And as far as I know, no one on this stage has served in uniform in the United States military. Anyone out there that has the uniform of the United States on and is willing to die for this country is someone that loves America. No matter what their religious background may be.

DINAN: Mr. Trump?


TRUMP: Marco talks about consequences. Well, we've had a lot of consequences, including airplanes flying into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and could have been the White House. There have been a lot of problems.

Now you can say what you want, and you can be politically correct if you want. I don't want to be so politically correct. I like to solve problems. We have a serious, serious problem of hate.


TRUMP: There is tremendous hate. There is tremendous hate. Where large portions of a group of people, Islam, large portions want to use very, very harsh means. Let me go a step further. Women are treated horribly. You know that. You do know that. Women are treated horribly, and other things are happening that are very, very bad.


Now I will say this, there is tremendous hatred. The question was asked, what do you think? I said, there is hatred. Now it would be very easy for me to say something differently. And everybody would say, oh, isn't that wonderful.

DINAN: Mr. Trump, thank you.

TRUMP: We better solve the problem before it's too late.

DINAN: Senator Rubio?


RUBIO: Well, here we go. See, I'm not interested in being politically correct. I'm not interested in being politically correct. I'm interested in being correct.


RUBIO: And in order to be correct on this issue, here's the bottom line. We do work. There is -- Islam has a major problem on its hands. It has a significant percentage of its adherents, particular in the Sunni faith but also in the Shia, who have been radicalized. And are willing to fly planes into a building and kill innocent people.

There is no doubt about that. It is also true if you look around the world at the challenges we face, we are going to have to work together with other -- with Muslims, who do not -- who are not radicals. We're going to have to work with the Jordanian kingdom.
We're going to have to work with the Saudis. We're going to have to work with the Gulf kingdoms. We're going to have to work with the Egyptians to defeat, for example, ISIS.

On Israel

CRUZ: And I'll tell you, frankly one concern I have with Donald is that although his language is quite incendiary, when you look at his substantive policies on Iran, he has said he would not rip up this Iranian nuclear deal. I think that's a mistake.

TRUMP: If I become president of the United States, one of the things that will be an absolute priority is number one, protection of Israel, but also seeing if a deal can be made, the toughest deal, the toughest negotiation there probably is of any kind no matter where you look, no matter how hard you look.

The Ayatollah Khomeini wants nuclear weapons to murder us. I'll give you another example, dealing with Islamic radical terrorism. On Israel, Donald has said he wants to be neutral between Israel and the Palestinians.

As president, I will not be neutral. And let me say this week, a Texan, Taylor Force. He was an Eagle Scout, he was a West Point graduate, he was an Army veteran. He was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist this week in Israel, and I don't think we need a commander in chief...


... who is neutral between the Palestinian terrorists and one of our strongest allies in the world, the nation of Israel.


HEWITT: Thank you Senator Cruz.

Mr. Trump. we're going to come to you in a second, but wait. I want to go to Hugh Hewitt, who has questions on this exact line of subject.

HEWITT: Mr. Trump, I want to follow-up on the quote that Senator Cruz used. You said you would want to be, quote, "sort of a neutral guy". He did mention Taylor Force. He was a West Point graduate, he was a war hero. He was a Vanderbilt graduate student.
He was killed in a Palestinian terror attack near Tel Aviv, many others were killed. And the Israeli government says the Palestinian authority is inciting this. Do you still want to stay neutral when the Palestinian authority is inciting these attacks.

TRUMP: First of all, there's nobody on this stage that's more pro Israel than I am. OK. There's nobody.


TRUMP: I am pro-Israel.


TRUMP: I was the grand marshall, not so long ago, of the Israeli Day Parade down 5th avenue. I've made massive contributions to Israel. I have a lot of -- I have tremendous love for Israel. I happen to have a son-in-law and a daughter that are Jewish, OK? And two grandchildren that are Jewish.


TRUMP: But I will tell you, I think if we're going to ever negotiate a peace settlement, which every Israeli wants, and I've spoken to the toughest and the sharpest, they all want peace, I think it would be much more helpful is -- I'm a negotiator. If I go in, I'll say I'm pro-Israel and I've told that to everybody and anybody that would listen.

But I would like to at least have the other side think I'm somewhat neutral as to them, so that we can maybe get a deal done. Maybe we can get a deal. I think it's probably the toughest negotiation of all time. But maybe we can get a deal done.

HEWITT: Senator Trump...


TRUMP: And, by the way, just so you understand, as far as Iran, I would have never made that deal. I think it's maybe the world deal I've ever seen. I think it's the worst deal I've ever seen negotiated. I will be so tough on them and ultimately that deal will be broken unless they behave better than they've ever behaved in their lives, which is probably unlikely. That deal will be broken.

HEWITT: Thank you Mr. Trump. Senator Cruz and Senator Rubio.

CRUZ: You know, we need a president who understands the national security interests of this country. The reason we are friends and allies with Israel is they are a liberal Democratic country that share our values, they're our strongest ally in the region.

We get billions in intelligence resources, billions in military resources. And the Palestinian Authority that Donald, along with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama say they want to treat neutrally, the same as Israel. The Palestinian Authority is in a unity government with Hamas, a terrorist organization.

They pay the families of these terrorists who murder people. And this is exactly the moral relativism Barack Obama has. And the answer is not scream, all Muslims bad.
Let me give you an example of a Muslim for example, we ought to be standing with, President el-Sisi of Egypt, a president of a Muslim country who is targeting radical...


... Islamic terrorist.

 HEWITT: Senator Rubio.

CRUZ: He's hunting them down and stomping them.

HEWITT: Thank you.

CRUZ: Our focus needs to be on keeping this country safe.

HEWITT: I want to go back to the Israeli government's assertion that the Palestinian Authority is inciting the convulsion of violence. Do you agree.

RUBIO: Well, that's undeniable. First of all, they've said, they've encouraged people to do so. And you've seen the speeches of the Palestinian Authority president how glorious this is that they're doing these sorts of things.

But let me go back for a moment. The policy Donald has outlined, I don't know if he realizes, is an anti-Israeli policy. Maybe that's not your intent but here's why it is an anti-Israeli policy. There is no peace deal possible with the Palestinians at this moment. There just isn't.


RUBIO: Because there's no one to negotiate with. The Palestinian Authority is not interested in a serious deal and they are now in union with Hamas, an organization whose specific purpose is the destruction of the Jewish state. Every time that Israel has turned over territory of any kind, be is Gaza, or now in Judea and Sumaira, it is used as a launching pad to attack Israel. And that's what will happen again.

These groups are not interested in a deal with Israel. What they are interested in is ultimately removing the Jewish state and occupying its entire territory.


So maybe in 30 years the conditions will exist, but they do not exist now.

HEWITT: Mr. Trump, and then I'll come to you Senator Kasich.

RUBIO: And To have a president forcing the Israelis to the table is harmful to the Israeli and emboldens Israel's enemies.

HEWITT: Thank you senator.


Mr. Trump a response and then we'll go to Governor Kasich.

But I would like to give it a shot. Very, very pro-Israel, nobody more pro-Israel. But I would love to give it a shot. And I have to tell you this, Hugh. I have friend, Israelis, non-Israelis, people from New York City that happen to be Jewish and love Israel, and some are very tough people, every single one of them, they know it's tough, but every single one of them wants to see if we could ever have peace in Israel.

And some believe it's possible. It may not be, in which case we'll find out. But it would be a priority if I become president to see what I could do.

HEWITT: Governor Kasich, do you agree the Israeli government that the Palestinian Authority is inciting this violence?

KASICH: Well, there's no question. They were saying that the Israelis intended to go to the Dome of the Rock. And I mean, when you think about this, thank goodness we work with Israelis to give them the Iron Dome where they can protect themselves against all the missiles that were flying in. Could you imagine living in like Miami here and having people shooting missiles in?

Secondly, there was just an article the other day, Hugh, that I know you're familiar with the Israelis are learning to train underground in combat because the Palestinians now, Hamas in particular, is digging these tunnels trying to get under Israel. They're coming at them from above, they're trying to come at them under the ground.

And I just have to tell you this, I don't believe there is any long-term permanent peace solution. And I think pursuing that is the wrong thing to do. I believe that every day that we can stability in that region by supporting the Israelis and making sure they have the weapons and the security that they need with our 100 percent backing is the way to proceed in the Middle East in regard to Israel.

On Cuba

Let's turn to another issue of real importance here in Florida. Just over a week from now, President Obama will visit Cuba, the first time in 88 years that a sitting U.S. president will set foot in Cuba.

Two of you on this stage have parents who were born in Cuba and moved to the United States. Let's go back to my colleague Dana Bash.

BASH: Senator Rubio, Donald Trump agrees with President Obama in his decision to reengage diplomatically in Cuba. The majority of Americans seem to agree with that as well. So why are President Obama, Donald Trump and the majority of Americans wrong?

RUBIO: Well, I would love the relationship between Cuba and the United States to change. But it will require Cuba to change, at least its government. Today, it has not. The fact of the matter is that after these changes were made -- after these changes were made, there are now millions and hundreds of millions of dollars that will flow to the Castro regime.

It will now allow them to become set permanent and in stone. They will now be able to carry out a transition where the military continues to run the country there. They'll put a puppet figure forward as their new president. And nothing will change for the Cuban people.

There has not been a single democratic opening; not a single change on the island in human rights. In fact, things are worse than they were before this opening. The only thing that's changed as a result of this opening is that now the Cuban government has more sources of money from which to build out their repressive apparatus and maintain themselves there permanently.

And we asked nothing in return. Compare that to the changes that were required in Burma. And by no means is Burma a perfect country. But at least when there was a democratic opening to Burma, they were required to make some democratic openings. When there was a diplomatic opening, it required democratic opening. And today, the former minority party is now the majority party in their legislative body.

He asked nothing in return and we are getting nothing in return. And Cuba and its regime remains an anti-American communist dictatorship, helped North Korea evade U.N. sanctions. It's harboring fugitives of American justice, including people stealing our Medicare money and moving back to Cuba, all in exchange for nothing.​

BASH: Mr. Trump, you said the concept of opening Cuba is fine. You said the concept of opening Cuba is fine. Why do you agree with President Obama and disagree with what Senator Rubio just said?

TRUMP: Well, I don't really agree with President Obama. I think I'm somewhere in the middle. What I want is I want a much better deal to be made because right now, Cuba is making -- as usual with our country, we don't make good deal. We don't have our right people negotiating, we have people that don't have a clue.

As an example, I heard recently where the threat was made that they want reparations for years of abuse by the United States, and nobody's talking about it and they'll end up signing a deal and then we'll get sued for $400 billion or $1 trillion.

All that stuff has to be agreed to now. We don't want to get sued after the deal is made. So I don't agree with President Obama, I do agree something should be -- should take place. After 50 years, it's enough time, folks. But we have to make a good deal and we have to get rid of all the litigation that's going to happen.

This was just a little story but it was a big story to me because I said oh, here we go, we make a deal, then get sued for a tremendous amount of money for reparations. So I want to do something, but it's got to be done intelligently. We have to make good deal.

BASH: Senator Rubio, I know you want to get in. But just to be clear, Mr. Trump, are you saying that if you were president, you would continue the diplomatic relations or would you reverse them?

TRUMP: I would want to make a good deal, I would want to make a strong, solid, good deal because right now, everything is in Cuba's favor. Right now, everything, every single aspect of this deal is in Cuba's favor. It the same way as the Iran deal.

We never walked -- we never -- all we do is keep giving. We give and give and give.

BASH: But Mr. Trump, just to be clear, there is an embassy that you would have to decide 
whether it would be open or whether you would close it. Which would it be? In Havana.

TRUMP: I would probably have the embassy closed until such time as a really good deal was made and struck by the United States.


RUBIO: All right, first of all, the embassy is the former consulate. It's the same building. So it could just go back to being called a consulate. We don't have to close it that way. Second of all, I don't know where Cuba is going to use, but if they sue us in a court in Miami, they're going to lose.


Third, on the issue of a good deal, I know what the good deal. I'll tell you what the good deal now, it's already codified. Here's a good deal -- Cuba has free elections, Cuba stops putting people in jail for speaking out, Cuba has freedom of the press, Cuba kicks out the Russians from Lourdes (ph) and kicks out the Chinese listening station in Berupal (ph) Cuba stops helping North Korea evade U.N. sanctions, Cuba takes all of those fugitives of America justice, including that cop killer from New Jersey, and send her back to the United States and to jail where she belongs. And you know what? Then we can have a relationship with Cuba. That's a good deal.

Full transcript here

Trump:  “But I would like to at least have the other side think I'm somewhat neutral as to them, so that we can maybe get a deal done” 

Well, here Trump demonstrates his utter ignorance. Jihadists do not negotiate in good faith, the word compromise is unknown to them, so even genuine neutrality would be counter-productive, let alone the semblance of itTo them it is all a Treaty of Hudaybiyyah.

CLARE M. LOPEZ: "The Center for Security Policy explained the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah    in its 2010 book, "Shariah: The Threat to America." The context is about situations in which Muslim forces might lawfully enter into a treaty or truce with the enemy. With troubling ramifications for current day negotiations, those situations demonstrate the centrality and importance of deceit in any agreement between Muslims and infidels. As it is recounted, in the year 628 CE, Muhammad (whose forces already controlled Medina) agreed to a 10-year truce with the pagan Quraysh tribe of Mecca, primarily because he realized that his forces were not strong enough to take the city at the time. Islamic doctrine in fact forbids Muslims from entering into a jihad or battle without the reasonable certainty of being able to prevail. In such cases, as with Muhammad, Muslims are permitted to enter into a temporary ceasefire or hudna, with the proviso that no such truce may exceed 10 years (because that's the length of the agreement Muhammad signed). And so, Muhammad agreed to the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. But just two years later, in 630 CE, now with some 10,000 fighters under his command, Muhammad broke the treaty and marched into Mecca."  

On Cuba, Rubio has a point. As the former CIA director James Woolsey said:

"For example, we know now from Soviet documents that were released or stolen after the Cold War ended, that Castro pushed very hard during the Cuban missile crisis for essentially there be a nuclear war. Happily he did not care  if Cuba would be destroyed. He wanted so much that the   United States be destroyed, and he was not even a religious fanatic. He was just a fanatic sociopath.  That almost tipped things into a tragic direction, but happily on the other side the Soviet Union was basically a bunch of thugs with a cover story their ideology was very substantially dead."