Quotes of the day

Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul said Tuesday that he would have no problem supporting a Muslim for president — and that Barack Obama isn’t one

Paul said voters would nevertheless have an “honest question” about Muslims seeking the highest office.

“Do you believe literally that a woman should be stoned to death for adultery? Do you believe that when someone steals something, their hand should be cut off?” said Paul to CNN’s Wolf Biltzer “The Situation Room.”

Paul said he could back a Muslim “if they support the things that made America great — constitutional principles, Bill of Rights — but some of those are inconsistent with the interpretation of the Quran that’s being put forward.”

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Clinton’s campaign, one of the most thoroughly dissected in modern history, never raised questions about the future president’s citizenship. The idea that it did is based largely on a series of disconnected actions by supporters of Clinton, mostly in the months between Obama’s reaction to the Jeremiah Wright story and the Democratic National Convention. I know, because I spent/wasted quite a lot of time covering this stuff.

It’s probably best to start by dividing up the Trump/Cruz/conservative claims. Clinton never personally called for the release of Obama’s birth certificate or questioned his American bona fides. You would have heard about that. But her campaign did ask an obvious question: How to convince Democratic voters that “Barack Hussein Obama” was not electable? In March 2007, in a memo later obtained by reporter Joshua Green, Clinton pollster Mark Penn dismissed Obama with the suggestion that he was simply too alien to win a national election.

“All of these articles about his boyhood in Indonesia and his life in Hawaii are geared toward showing his background is diverse, multicultural, and putting that in a new light,” wrote Penn. “Save it for 2050. It also exposes a very strong weakness for him — his roots to basic American values and culture are at best limited.”

But Penn wrote that as a warning, not a strategy.

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Rush Limbaugh today took on the controversy about President Obama‘s faith and asked how anything he’s doing would be any different if he was Muslim.

Limbaugh said he’s just repeating what others are saying, but still very much questioned if anything would be different if Obama was a Muslim.

He pointed to Iran getting a nuclear weapon, “a president who’s angered our number one Middle Eastern ally, Israel, made up of Jewish people,” and Obama referencing those who “slander the prophet.”

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Glenn Beck said on his radio show today that of course President Obama isn’t a Muslim, just someone who views the world with the perspective of an Islamist.

Beck laughed about the man who asked Donald Trump about Obama being a Muslim and sort of defended the president: “Is he a Muslim? No. Does he view things through the lens of an Islamist? I think so.”

He clarified that Obama doesn’t necessarily want Sharia law imposed on America or anything, just that “he has an Islamist point of view that they have been wronged for so long by these colonialists.”

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[A] previous Monkey Cage post showed that 54 percent of Republicans think that “deep down,” Obama believes in Islam. Likewise, a PPP poll from late August found that 54 percent of likely Republican primary voters thought Obama is a Muslim. A majority of the GOP also evaluates Muslims unfavorably, with Republicans and Republican-leaning independents rating Muslims substantially lower than any other religion. And less than half of Republicans recently said they would be unwilling to vote for an otherwise qualified Muslim candidate for president.

Those anti-Muslim beliefs have become a more potent force in Americans’ political opinions since Barack Obama ran for president. A number of studies show that attitudes about Muslims were much stronger determinants of vote choice for president in both 2008 and 2012 than they were in previous elections or than they would have been had John McCain face Hillary Clinton instead of Obama in 2008 (see 1, 2, 3). Anti-Muslim attitudes have also increasingly shaped Americans’ opinions about health care and congressional candidates in the Obama era (see here and here)…

There is a strong relationship between thinking Obama was a Muslim and support for Trump in 2011. The first panel of the display shows that respondents who knew that Obama was a Christian had an overwhelmingly negative opinion of Trump (-65) in 2011, but those who said Obama was a Muslim had a favorable rating of Trump (+20). The second panel shows that this strong relationship persisted even after accounting for partisan, ideological, and demographic factors.

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Trump’s recent comments about President Obama waging a war on Christianity don’t hurt him much with the GOP base. 69% agree with the sentiment that the President has waged a war on Christianity, with only 17% disagreeing. Trump’s probably not hurting himself too much with his negativity toward Muslims either- only 49% of Republicans think the religion of Islam should even be legal in the United States with 30% saying it shouldn’t be and 21% not sure. Among Trump voters there is almost even division with 38% thinking Islam should be allowed and 36% that it should not.

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Barack Obama keeps getting accused of being a closet muslim by some people. I actually don’t think that’s true. I think Barack Obama is a secular atheist who only talked God and religion to get people to vote for him.

The man has repeatedly turned a blind eye to Christian persecution, his administration has been deeply hostile to people of faith, he has shown himself often sympathetic in his tone to Islamic radicals, and he has never spoken insultingly of Islam as he has Christianity…

If the President wants to stop being accused of being a muslim, he should either fess up that he isn’t a believer in anything other than himself or start acting like the Christian that he claims to be.

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Via The Blaze.

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