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Democratic candidates won't use the term "radical Islam" at second debate

11 months 1 week 5 days ago November 14, 2015 Nov 14, 2015 Saturday, November 14 2015 November 14, 2015 9:10 PM in News
Source: Associated Press
By: APnewsNow

DES MOINES - In the wake of the Paris attacks, French President Francois Hollande vows that his nation will wage "merciless" war on the Islamic State.

At the Democratic debate, Hillary Rodham Clinton is deflecting a question of whether she would declare war on the militant group.

The former secretary says the United States has to beef up its intelligence capabilities. She says, "It is difficult finding intelligence that is actionable, but we have to keep on trying. ... There's a lot of work we need to keep doing."

Her rival Bernie Sanders interrupts, suggesting that too little of the existing U.S. military budget of $600 billion is used to fight "international terrorism."

Instead, Sanders complains that too much is spent to maintain nuclear weapons that he sees as part of the U.S. military strategy of the last century.

The Republican candidates for president are jumping on the refusal of the Democratic candidates to say the words "radical Islam" at their debate.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tweets, "Yes, we are at war with radical Islamic terrorism."

Rick Santorum adds on Twitter, "HillaryClinton how can we defeat our enemy if we cannot identify who they are and what motivates them?"

Says Carly Fiorina on Twitter: "Hillary Clinton will not call this Islamic terrorism. I will."

All three Democratic presidential candidates are declining to use the term "radical Islam" at the party's second debate, a description used by many of their Republican rivals.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says, "I don't think we are at war with Islam. ... I think we're at war with jihadists."

She adds that "it's not particularly helpful" to use language that alienates many Muslims, and she notes that Republican President George W. Bush made a similar point after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says, "I don't think the term is important." He says the more important issue is the "entire world coming together" to defeat militants.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley says using the term "radical Islam" is unnecessarily offensive to Muslims in America. He says he prefers "radical jihadists" and describes them as a group that is "perverting the name of a major world religion."

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