Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country goes against "everything" the country stands for.
"I think this whole notion that somehow we can just say no more Muslims, just ban a whole religion, goes against everything we stand for and believe in," Cheney told radio host Hugh Hewitt. "I mean, religious freedom has been a very important part of our history and where we came from."
"A lot of people, my ancestors got here, because they were Puritans," the former Vice President continued. "There wasn’t anybody here then when they came, but it’s a mistaken notion."
Donald Trump on Monday called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” until lawmakers “can figure out what is going on.”
Cheney said that the refugee issue is a "serious problem" that demands a solution, but argued banning all Muslims would be a poor choice.
"You’ve got to set up a vetting process. And that’s crucial, but I think the way you’ve got to begin to deal with that problem is to go back and look at why they’re here," he said. "And they’re here because of what’s going on in the Middle East. And what’s going on in the Middle East is the result of a U.S. vacuum. It’s the result of the rise of ISIS, civil war in Syria."
Cheney added, "I’ve heard proposals that I think make sense that we ought to establish safety zones, if you will, in the northern part of Syria where you’ve got them secured, you’ve got sufficient forces, hopefully of locals that would be there to protect, the area, but that’s where people who are fleeing the terrible tragedy that’s going on inside the caliphate, a place where they could reside. But it also takes the pressure, then, off of the refugee flow, the move to Europe of thousands of refugees and the move here to the United States."
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