Donald Trump has three words for critics of his newly announced plan to bar Muslims from entering the United States: “I don’t care.”
That’s what the Republican presidential frontrunner told a crowd of supporters in South Carolina on Monday night, saying that while his proposal may not be “politically correct,” Americans need a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States while we figure out what the hell is going on.”
Trump’s announcement comes on the heels of President Barack Obama’s address to the nation on Sunday, which sought to both reassure Americans that his terrorism strategy would ultimately succeed, and condemn anti-Muslim behavior in the aftermath of the San Bernardino shooting last week.
“When we travel down that road, we lose,” he said. “Freedom is more powerful than fear.”
Ignoring the president’s exhortations, Trump emailed his supporters on Monday with the announcement of his proposal to block Muslim entry into the country. The ban has since drawn sharp condemnation from both Republicans and Democrats:
.@Realdonaldtrump has gone from making absurd comments to being downright dangerous with his bombastic rhetoric.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 7, 2015
Donald Trump is unhinged. His “policy” proposals are not serious.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) December 7, 2015
This is reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive. @RealDonaldTrump, you don’t get it. This makes us less safe. -H https://t.co/SjAqL0clHd
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 7, 2015
The United States is a great nation when we stand together. We are a weak nation when we allow racism and xenophobia to divide us.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) December 7, 2015
By Tuesday morning, multiple news networks scrambled to talk to Trump about this plan. Speaking on Morning Joe, Trump defended his proposal by praising President Franklin Roosevelt’s labeling of Germans, Japanese, and Italians as “enemy aliens” during World War II. He did, however, refrain from endorsing internment camps.