Donald Trump didn’t back down from his comment that “Islam hates us” at the Republican debate Thursday, but Marco Rubio hit back at him with more nuance.
CNN moderator Jake Tapper asked Trump if he meant all 1.6 billion Muslims in the world when he said the religion hates America. “I mean a lot of them,” Trump replied. “There’s tremendous hatred, and I will stick with exactly what I said to Anderson Cooper.”
Tapper then turned to Florida Sen. Rubio. “I know that a lot of people find appeal in the things Donald says, because he says what people wish they could say,” Rubio said. “The problem is presidents can’t just say anything they want. It has consequences, here and around the world.”
Rubio then said, “There is no doubt that radical Islam is a danger to the world,” but that it’s wrong to generalize the whole religion. “I can also tell you that if you go to any national cemetery, especially Arlington, you’re going to see crescent moons there,” he continued. “If you go anywhere in the world, you’re going to see American men and women serving us in uniform that are Muslims.”
Trump then responded, talking about the terrorist attacks of 9/11. “You can say what you want and you can be politically correct if you want, I don’t want to be so politically correct,” he said. “I like to solve problems.”
“I’m not interested in being politically correct,” Rubio shot back. “I’m interested in being correct.”
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Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.Rogers@time.com