Addressing voters in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Rubio said:
Look at today – he gave a speech at a mosque. Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims. Of course there’s going to be discrimination in America of every kind. But the bigger issue is radical Islam.
Data isn’t needed to show that many types of discrimination exist in America. But here’s some anyway: 45% of white Americans say that black Americans don’t have the motivation or the willpower to pull themselves out of poverty. One-third of Americans don’t think society should accept homosexuality and 8% of Americans think that adults with intellectual disabilities should all be institutionalized.
Those numbers are besides the point though. Civil rights in the US like freedom from discrimination don’t have to meet a quantitative threshold in order to be respected. Obama’s visit was not motivated by the belief that American Muslims are the most discriminated group in America, it was an effort to explain: “You’re not Muslim or American. You’re Muslim and American.”
Those remarks aren’t just addressed at American Muslims – they speak to the 49% of the country that believes Muslims in America are anti-American.