Presidential Candidates React to Attack on Brussels

Photo by Rebecca King

A terrorist attack at a Belgian airport on Wednesday left at least 30 people dead and over 200 people wounded.

The attack involved three explosions that took place at Brussels Airport, gaining worldwide attention, as different countries stood in solidarity with the victims of the attacks.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack that involved two suicide bombers, Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui, and one escaped attacker who has not yet been identified. The attack has forced a boost in airport security at airports everywhere and even prompted a statement from the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

“Europe is at war,” Valls said. In November, Paris was victim to a similar planned attack from ISIS that had a death toll in the hundreds and attracted similar attention worldwide. The Brussels attack prompted immediate response from presidential candidates.

The most notable comments came from Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz. Cruz criticized President Barack Obama for staying in Cuba during the Brussels attack and offered what his plan as president would be to prevent future attacks.

“We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized,” said Cruz. Cruz won all 40 delegates in the Utah caucuses on Tuesday, as he chases Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who won big in the Arizona primary on Tuesday.

Trump agreed with Ted Cruz on patrolling Muslim neighborhoods, and defended his controversial statement of temporarily banning Muslims from the country.

Republican candidate and governor of Ohio John Kasich was the only Republican nominee to disagree with law enforcement patrolling Muslim neighborhoods but did condemn Obama for not returning to the United States.

Kasich is mathematically unable to win the Republican primary nomination, having only won the Ohio Primary, but is continuing his campaign hoping to take the Republican race to a convention where he would again have a chance to win the nomination.

On the Democratic side, USA Today reported that Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has viewed Trump and Cruz’s response to the attack as “wrong” and “dangerous.”

Us Weekly quoted Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders saying, “That is not what this country is about” in regard to Trump and Cruz’s response to radical Islam. Sanders also won big on Tuesday, losing the primary in Arizona, but winning in both Idaho and Utah.