Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz was grilled on CBS This Morning over his call for law enforcement to patrol Muslim communities following the Brussels terror attacks.
“We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized,” Cruz said.
Cruz has taken fire from New York Police Chief Bill Bratton after suggesting police officers should be used to canvas Muslims in major metropolitan areas.
“He doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about,” Bratton said. “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.”
The Texas Senator then responded to Bratton by calling the Army veteran a “Democratic political henchman” of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
This Wednesday, CBS co-host Norah O’Donnell asked Cruz if he knew how many Muslims lived in the US, to which Cruz admitted that he had no clue.
“So you’re saying that law enforcement should surveil a number of Muslims and you don’t even know how many Muslims are in America,” she said.
O’Donnell then pointed out that the United States does not have the “Muslim neighborhoods” like many European countries and that his rhetoric actually bolsters terrorism.
“There are so many people that say that your comments are decidedly anti-Muslim, and that you’re playing right into the hands of ISIS,” co-host Gayle King said. “You’re giving them ammunition to come after us, to really take action against us.”
Instead of answering the question, Cruz began lecturing the panel against “political correctness.”
“Gayle with all respect, people are fed up with the political correctness of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton,” he said. “Islamism is a political and theocratic philosophy that commands its adherents to wage violent jihad.”