WASHINGTON/NEW YORK: Donald Trump, a US presidential candidate known for his political incorrectness, is in trouble again — this time for not speaking.
This happened at a question-and-answer town hall meeting in Rochester, New Hampshire, on Thursday night when a Trump supporter got up and shouted: “We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims. You know our current president (Barack Obama) is one. You know he’s not even an American.”
Mr Trump, who never hesitates while ridiculing minorities, women and his political opponents, hesitated a little, and then he interrupted the man but only to say, chuckling: “We need this question. This is the first question.”
The man, who was wearing a Trump T-shirt, continued: “We have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question: When can we get rid of them?” Donald Trump, who forced President Obama to release his birth certificate in 2011 to prove he was an American, did not correct the questioner’s claim about Mr Obama.
Instead, he said: “We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things. You know a lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening. We’re going to be looking at that and many other things.”
The billionaire’s unwillingness to correct a false claim and anti-Muslim rhetoric caused an immediate backlash from advocacy groups, members of his own party and from rival Democrats. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s front-runner for president, reminded him that such behaviour was not acceptable in America.
“Donald Trump not denouncing false statements about hateful rhetoric about Muslims is disturbing, & just plain wrong. Cut it out,” she tweeted.
“Trump must apologise to the president and American people for continuing the lie that the president is not an American and not a Christian,” tweeted Bernie Sanders, another Democratic presidential hopeful.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz called Donald Trump a racist.
“Donald Trump’s racism knows no bounds. This is certainly horrendous, but unfortunately unsurprising given what we have seen already,” she said.
“I wouldn’t have permitted that if someone brought that up at a town hall meeting of mine,” said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is also a Republican presidential hopeful.
Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2015