Terror attacks on the airport and subway in Brussels killed dozens Tuesday, and with ISIS claiming responsibility for the horrific acts there was renewed pressure on the 2016 presidential candidates to prove their ability to keep America safe:
Republican front-runner Donald Trump quickly called for the U.S. to “close up our borders” in response to the attacks, which left at least 34 people dead.
“We have to be very, very vigilant with who we let into this country,” Trump said on Fox News’s “Fox and Friends,” in an escalation of his support for extremely tough border rules. “We are taking in people without real documentation.
“We don’t know who they are or where they’re from.”
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton quickly shot back, calling Trump’s proposal “unrealistic.”
Tuesday’s violence, Clinton added, is “the latest terrible manifestation” of extremist violence.
Ted Cruz, whose campaign hopes for a resurgence in primary voting later on Tuesday, renewed his call to ban Syrian refugees from entering the country.
Cruz also called for the U.S. to “empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.”
“For years, the west has tried to deny this enemy exists out of a combination of political correctness and fear,” Cruz said in a statement. “We can no longer afford either.
“Our European allies are now seeing what comes of a toxic mix of migrants who have been infiltrated by terrorists and isolated, radical Muslim neighborhoods.”
Republicans also used the occasion to hammer President Obama, who is on a historic trip to Cuba.
In light of Tuesday morning’s violence, Obama should cut the trip short, Cruz and rival John Kasich said.
Obama “looks and sounds so ridiculous making his speech in Cuba, especially in the shadows of Brussels,” echoed Trump, in a Twitter post.
Bernie Sanders’s response was much more muted:
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sandersissued a statement condemning the attack. “Today’s attack is a brutal reminder that the international community must come together to destroy ISIS. This type of barbarism cannot be allowed to continue.”
The attacks will likely invite more scrutiny of Trump, who only just unveiled a list of foreign policy advisers this week.