Conservatives gleefully called on voters to wake up after the Democratic presidential candidates declined during Saturday night’s debate to say the U.S. is at war with “radical Islam” in the wake of the Paris attacks.
The term is a favorite among the Republican presidential candidates, who evoke “radical Islam” in broad strokes when talking about the Islamic State and jihadists committing violent acts of terrorism around the world.
The debate’s moderator, CBS News’ John Dickerson, asked Hillary Clinton to respond to Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) remarks that the Paris attacks show the U.S. is “at war with radical Islam.”
“I don’t think we’re at war with Islam. I don’t think we’re at war with all Muslims. I think we’re at war with jihadists,” Clinton responded. Dickerson interrupted her to clarify that Rubio “didn’t say all Muslims. He said ‘radical Islam.'”
Clinton went on to say that one of George W. Bush’s contributions after the Sept. 11 attacks was to publicly declare the U.S. was not at war with Islam or Muslims, but with violent extremism.
President Obama’s refusal to evoke “racial Islam” has been a perennial source of criticism from conservatives, and they turned out in droves to slam the Democrats over the same issue.
Yes, @HillaryClinton we are at war with radical Islam! You are not qualified to serve if you cannot even define our enemy! #DemDebate
— Rick Santorum (@RickSantorum) November 15, 2015
Yes, we are at war with radical Islamic terrorism. #DemDebate
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) November 15, 2015
You’re all grown up now. You can do it. Three words. Ten syllables. Say it with me: “Radical Islamic terrorism.” #DemDebate
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) November 15, 2015
Why won’t President Obama use the term Islamic Terrorism? Isn’t it now, after all of this time and so much death, about time!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2015
We need a President who will see and speak and act on the truth…Hillary Clinton will not call this Islamic terrorism. I will.
— Carly Fiorina (@CarlyFiorina) November 15, 2015
Hillary refuses to say we are at war with “radical Islam.” #DemDebate
— RNC (@GOP) November 15, 2015
.@HillaryClinton has consistently failed to understand the depth of the ISIS threat. We need @JohnKasich‘s leadership. #DemDebate
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) November 15, 2015
If your #DemDebate drinking game words are “Radical Islam” — you’ll be going home cold sober tonight, folks.
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) November 15, 2015
Just so all you vapid @HillaryClinton supporters know. She just said “we are not at war with radical Islam”. #parisisburning #WakeUpAmerica
— Eric Bolling (@ericbolling) November 15, 2015
The conservative news site Breitbart also published a post hitting the Democrats for not using the phrase “to describe the enemy responsible for attacking the United States and the west [sic] in general.”