Marco Rubio accuses Trump of ruining America for American Muslims: It's not about being politically correct, it's about "being correct"

Trump claimed that "a lot of them," meaning "Muslims," want to fly airplanes into skyscrapers

By Scott Eric Kaufman
Published March 11, 2016 8:23AM (UTC)
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Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., left, answers a question, as Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump listens, during the Republican presidential debate sponsored by CNN, Salem Media Group and the Washington Times at the University of Miami, Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Coral Gables, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (AP)

During Thursday night's debate, CNN's Jake Tapper asked GOP front-runner Donald Trump whether he means that all Muslims hate America when he says that "Islam hates us."

Trump replied, "I mean a lot of them!" He noted that a there's a "tremendous hatred, [and there is] something going on that maybe you don't know about there," though he didn't specify where "there" was.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio saw an opening and darted into it, saying that "presidents can't just say anything they want," and that Trump is creating a very hostile environment for American Muslims, even though there are many headstones in military cemeteries that bear a crescent instead of a Star of David or cross.

"You can be politically correct if you'd like," Trump replied, "but I don't want to be so politically correct."

Rubio paused for a beat, and said that refusing to insult Islam isn't about political correctness, but merely about "being correct."

Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at

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