Trump Says Political Correctness Helped Enable California Attack

Donald Trump Likes His Odds Going Into Iowa

Ahead of President Barack Obama’s Sunday night speech outlining his plan to fight terrorism, Republican presidential candidates called for more surveillance tools for the intelligence community, while frontrunner Donald Trump said political correctness and a fear of profiling may have helped allow last week’s attack in California to occur.

In an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Trump said Americans have been too politically correct with Muslims in America, arguing that people knew what the San Bernardino attackers were planning, but didn’t want to report them for fear of profiling the individuals. The FBI is investigating the shooting rampage that killed 14 people as a potential act of terror that may have been inspired by Islamic State.

“If they thought there was something wrong with that group and they saw what was happening, and they didn’t want to call the police because they didn’t want to be profiling, I think that’s pretty bad,” Trump said. “So everybody wants to be politically correct, and that’s part of the problem that we have with our country.”

Asked if there should be profiling in America, Trump said there can be. “If you have people coming out of mosques with hatred and with death in their eyes and on their minds, we’re going to have to do something,” he said.

According to a CNN/ORC poll conducted Nov. 27 to Dec. 1, 46 percent of Republican voters said Trump would be the best candidate to handle the Islamic State, triple the proportion for the next-highest response, Texas Senator Ted Cruz. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Trump’s rival candidates focused more on the need for better intelligence in their latest remarks.

Christie, Kasich

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, also on CBS, said increased surveillance and creating relationships with mosques -- not profiling -- were the correct responses. “We did that after 9/11 and prevented attacks in New Jersey and all across the country,” Christie said.

“I trust the intelligence community, they need more tools,” Ohio Governor John Kasich said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Also on CNN, Florida Senator Marco Rubio said he hopes the president will give intelligence officials broader access to phone records. The National Security Agency’s mass surveillance program, under which the government held five years of phone records, ended a few days before the California attack on Dec. 2.

“Our intelligence gathering capabilities have been severely diminished,” Rubio said, citing a recent report from the Associated Press. “It doesn’t give us a complete picture of, for example, the U.S. citizen’s involvement for the last five years.”

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