Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is not backing down on his proposal to have police “patrol Muslim neighborhoods” despite the barrage of flak he’s receiving over it, but at least one Cruz quasi-surrogate has a take on Cruz’s comments that’s hot enough to melt diamonds. Former candidate and reluctant Cruz-backer Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared on Morning Joe Thursday morning to explain that maybe when Cruz suggested police patrols in Muslim neighborhoods, he was really just trying to reach out:
Mika Brzezinski: So what of these comments about patrolling Muslim communities?
Lindsey Graham: I think if he means, we need to have better intelligence gathering —
Brzezinski No, just what of his comments, come on, lindsey.
Graham: I don’t know what he means by that. If he means we’re going to put surveillance on every Muslim in the country, that’s a bad idea. If we’re going to have a better relationship with the Muslim community to gather better intelligence, that’s different.
Brzezinski: Let me make it easier for you. should he have said it? why did he say it?
Graham: I think he’s trying to chase Trump a little bit. His response to Brussels is let’s waterboard people. Not many people in the military believes that works. His response is to kick every Muslim out of the country. So at the end of the day what Mr. Trump is saying makes it harder to win the war not easier, and Ted Cruz has got to speak for himself. But we need a better relationship with the Muslim community in America.
Right, so the police Ted Cruz wants to send to patrol Muslim neighborhoods are more like a cadre of armored Dr. Phils than anything else. It’s about relationships, so maybe the cops will ride around the neighborhood with a bullhorn asking “Netflix and chill?”
Lindsey Graham is in the same unenviable position as a lot of Republicans, forced to support the lesser of two evils, but if they have to tie themselves into this many knots to do it, what’s going to be left of them at the end?
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.