'Radical Islam is at war with us': GOP presidential candidates respond to Brussels attacks

The three Republican presidential candidates reacted to Tuesday’s terror attacks in Belgium by both expressing their sorrow and by vowing to bring a tough approach to Islamic terrorism.

The attacks against a Brussels airport and train station killed more than two-dozen people.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas posted a statement on Facebook arguing that President Barack Obama is wrong to avoid using the term “radical Islamic terrorism.”

Cruz said:

Our hearts break for the men and women of Brussels this morning. Make no mistake — these terror attacks are no isolated incidents. They are just the latest in a string of coordinated attacks by radical Islamic terrorists perpetrated by those who are waging war against all who do not accept their extreme strain of Islam.

Radical Islam is at war with us. For over seven years we have had a president who refuses to acknowledge this reality. And the truth is, we can never hope to defeat this evil so long as we refuse to even name it. That ends on January 20, 2017, when I am sworn in as president. We will name our enemy — radical Islamic terrorism. And we will defeat it.

Meanwhile, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump did a series of morning-show interviews on Tuesday in which he addressed the attacks. Trump, who has vowed to bar foreign Muslims from entering the US, argued that the latest terror attack in Europe showed that his hard-line approach was necessary.

On “Fox & Friends,” Trump said:

We have to be smart in the United States when people come in. We’re taking in people without real documentation, we don’t know where they’re coming from, we don’t know … who they are. You look at them from any standpoint. They could be ISIS. They could be ISIS-related. And we just don’t learn. We don’t learn.

And Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the third GOP candidate left in the race, also released a statement passionately condemning the attack and suggesting a broad approach to US national security:

I want to express my solidarity with the people of Belgium in the aftermath of the attacks that took place in Brussels. Along with every American, I am sickened by the pictures of the carnage, by the injuries, and by the loss of life.

The wave of terror that has been unleashed in Europe and elsewhere around the world are attacks against our very way of life and against the democratic values upon which our political systems hae been built.

We and our allies must rededicate ourselves to these values of freedom and human rights. We must utterly reject the use of deadly acts of terror.

We must also redouble our efforts with our allies to identify, root out, and destroy the perpetrators of such acts of evil. We must strengthen our alliances as our way of life and the international system that has been build on our common values since the end of the Second World War comes under challenge from these and other actors of evil.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the attacks and with the people of Belgium.

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