John Kerry: Republican presidential candidates' rhetoric on Muslims is 'an embarrassment' to the US

Secretary of State John Kerry said that the Republican presidential candidates’ rhetoric on Muslims is an “embarrassment” to the US.

In an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Kerry said that world leaders are “shocked” by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposal to bar Muslims from entering the US and bring back waterboarding, as well as Sen. Ted Cruz’s proposal to ramp up surveillance of “Muslim neighbourhoods.”

“Everywhere I go, every leader I meet, they ask about what is happening in America. They cannot believe it. I think it is fair to say that they’re shocked,” Kerry said. “They don’t know where it’s taking the United States of America. It upsets people’s sense of equilibrium about our steadiness, about our reliability.”

“To some degree, I must say to you, some of the questions, the way they’re posed to me, it’s clear that what’s happening is an embarrassment to our country.”

In recent weeks, the Obama administration has criticised both Trump and Cruz over their proposals to curb terrorist threats.

During a press conference in Argentina on Wednesday, President Barack Obama slammed Cruz for suggesting patrols of Muslim neighbourhoods, saying the patrols would contradict American values and would not help thwart ISIS attacks.

“I just left a country that engages in that kind of neighbourhood surveillance, which, by the way, the father of Senator Cruz escaped for America, the land of the free,” Obama said, referencing his recent trip to Cuba.

“The notion that we would start down that slippery slope makes absolutely no sense. It’s contrary to who we are, and it’s not going to help us to defeat ISIL.”

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