Politics

Jeb Bush Just Showed Us How Not to Respond to the Paris Attack

November 17th 2015

By:
Kyle Jaeger

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush doesn't think that we should reject Syrian refugees outright, but he feels that the U.S. should focus its efforts on helping Christian (rather than Muslim) refugees. And apparently that involves issuing religious tests to ensure that prospective refugees are really Christian.

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Bush first suggested that the U.S. should prioritize aid to Christian refugees in Syria on Sunday as a guest on CNN's State of the Union, but he stirred controversy again on Tuesday after telling a reporter at a campaign stop in South Carolina that refugees should be screened on the basis of their religious identity.

"[If] you're Christian, I mean, you can prove you're a Christian," Bush said. "If you can't prove it, then you err on the side of caution."

His remarks come just two days after the candidate said that America needed to do a "thorough screening and take in a limited number" of Syrian refugees, specifying that our efforts should be focused on Christians who, Bush says, are being "slaughtered" by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and the Islamic State.

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Bush isn't the first GOP candidate to come under fire for making seemingly insensitive comments about the refugee crisis. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was also criticized after stating that the U.S. shouldn't even accept Syrian refugees if they were five-year-old orphans.

In response to the attacks in Paris, Republican governors of at least 30 states have expressed opposition to accepting refugees who are fleeing violent extremism and religious persecution in the Middle East and Northern Africa, citing concerns about the vetting process and possible terrorist activity, CNBC reported.

RELATED: U.S. States Move to Block Syrian Refugees From Asylum