Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to say “radical Islam” and declared, “We are at war with violent extremism” while implying that those who refereed to radical Islam were saying “we are somehow against Islam” during Saturday’s Democratic presidential debate on CBS.
Hillary was asked if she believed with GOP presidential candidate and Florida Senator Sen. Marco Rubio’s characterization that the US is at war with “radical Islam.”
She responded, “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 who have–
Anchor John Dickerson then cut in to point out Rubio said “radical Islam” not all Muslims. Hillary then continued, “I think that you can talk about Islamists, who clearly are also jihadists, but I think it’s not particularly helpful, to make the case that Senator Sanders was just making, that I agree with, that we’ve got to reach out to Muslim countries. we’ve got to have them be part of our coalition. if they hear people running for president who basically shortcut it to say we are somehow against Islam, that was one of the real contributions, despite all the other problems, that George W. Bush made after 9/11, when he basically said, after going to a mosque in Washington, we are not at war with Islam or Muslims. We are at war with violent extremism. We are at war with people who use their religion for purposes of power and oppression. And, yes, we are at war with those people, but I don’t want us to be painting with too broad a brush.”
Dickerson then pointed to a speech Hillary gave where she said it was important to show “respect, even for one’s enemies. Trying to understand and, insofar as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view.”
Hillary responded, “I think with this kind of barbarism and nihilism, it’s very hard to understand, other than the lust for power, the rejection of modernity, the total disregard for human rights, freedom, or any other value that we know and respect. Historically, it is important to try to understand your adversary, in order to figure out how they are thinking, what they will be doing, how they will react. I plead that it’s very difficult when you deal with ISIS, and organizations like that, whose behavior is so barbaric, and so vicious, that it doesn’t seem to have any purpose other than lust for killing and power, and that’s very difficult to put ourselves in the other shoe.”