President Obama called Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s proposal to patrol U.S. Muslim neighborhoods as a part of a counter-terrorism strategy as “un-American” and “counterproductive.”
Obama went on to say that, “I just left a country that engages in that kind of neighborhood surveillance, which, by the way, the father of Sen. Cruz escaped, for America, the land of the free,” President Obama said, invoking Cruz’s Cuban heritage in criticizing Cruz’s proposal Wednesday.
Speaking in Argentina, Obama said any approach that would “single out” or “target” Muslims for discrimination “is not only wrong and un-American, but it also would be counterproductive because it would reduce the strength, the antibodies that we have to reduce terrorism.”
“One of the great strengths of the U.S. and why we haven’t seen more attacks in the U.S. is we have an extraordinarily successful patriotic, integrated Muslim-American community. They do not feel isolated,” he said.
“The notion that we would start down that slippery slope makes absolutely no sense,” Obama added. “It’s contrary to who we are. And it’s not going to help us defeat ISIL.”