Republican Candidates Hit Hillary Clinton on Question of Whether America is at War with 'Radical Islam'

demdebate
Democratic U.S. presidential candidates Senator Bernie Sanders (L), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley pose on stage ahead of the second official 2016 U.S. Democratic presidential candidates debate in Des Moines, Iowa, November 14. Jim Young/Reuters

The Democratic debate on Saturday night began with a discussion of radical Islam, just hours after deadly attacks in Paris, which were carried out by the Islamic State, according to French officials.

CBS moderator John Dickerson asked frontrunner Hillary Clinton if she would characterize the war on terrorism as a war against "radical Islam," as some Republican candidates had done. Clinton offered this lengthy reply:

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. I think you can talk about Islamists who clearly are also jihadists but its not particularly helpful to make the case…that we've got to reach out to Muslim countries, have them be part of our coalition, if they hear people running for president who basically short cut 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 paint with too broad a brush.

Newsweek subscription offers >

Bernie Sanders agreed, saying the "term" isn't important to the war. Martin O'Malley joined his Democratic counterparts in agreement, noting that Muslim-Americans are necessary allies in this battle.

Republican candidates quickly took to Twitter to disagree with Clinton (and the other two Democrats on stage):

Newsweek subscription offers >

Several other Republican candidates had weighted in on the general topic prior to the debate on social media:

Trump also reacted to O'Malley referring to the GOP frontrunner as a "immigrant bashing carnival barker":

Republican Candidates Hit Hillary Clinton on Question of Whether America is at War with 'Radical Islam' | U.S.