Muslims need not apply: Ted Cruz argues that U.S. should only take in Christian refugees

The Muslim refugees should go to wealthy Arab countries, because some of them may be terrorists

Published September 21, 2015 3:12PM (EDT)

  (AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
(AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

GOP presidential hopefuls clashed on the question of a Muslim running for the highest office in the land, with Ted Cruz following Lindsey Graham in criticizing Ben Carson for his Islamophobic remarks on "Meet the Press" Sunday.

"You know, the Constitution specifies that there shall be no religious test for public office and I am a constitutionalist," Cruz told The Des Moines Register's Kathie Obradovich and Linh Ta. He also said he wouldn't be commenting on Donald Trump's controversial non-rebuke of a questioner who stated that President Barack Obama is neither a natural born American nor a Christian.

He did, however, wade into one ethical morass -- the European refugee crisis -- saying that he believes that the United State should accept refugees, but only if they're Christian. Cruz speculated that many of the Muslim refugees are terrorists using the crisis as a means of unfettered egress.

"I think the Christians are a very different circumstance because Christians are being persecuted, they are being persecuted directly for their faith and the Obama administration has abandoned Middle East Christians," he said.

At The Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Forum in Des Moines, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee agreed. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum suggested that America should focus on helping the Christians refugees, but that they should do so in Middle Eastern countries, so that they might be better able to return to their homelands at a future point in time.

By Scott Eric Kaufman

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Ben Carson Elections 2016 European Refugee Crisis Islamophobia Ted Cruz