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Presidential Candidates Respond to the San Bernardino Shooting

Tragedy hit San Bernardino, Calif. on Wednesday, when 14 people were killed and more were injured at the Inland Regional Center. Most of the Presidential candidates have responded to the shooting. Here’s what they had to say:

Bernie Sanders


Bernie Sanders framed his comments on the shooting around the idea of gun control measures. He talked about the need for background checks and called for an increase in mental health treatment.

“We need to significantly expand and improve background checks,” Sanders said. “Who is arguing that people who should not have guns because of a criminal background, because of mental problems, should … be able to purchase guns? Very few Americans disagree with that,” Sanders said, according to the Huffington Post. “And very significantly, we need to greatly expand and improve our mental health capabilities. These people need treatment when they need treatment, regardless of their income, regardless of their insurance status.”

The Huffington Post adds that the NRA gave Sanders an F rating for his gun control policy ideas.

Donald Trump


Donald Trump had a very definitive answer for what he thought happened in San Bernardino: Terrorism.

“It looks like another case. We’ve got a lot of bad things going on. Radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump told ABC.

He noted the names of the two suspects, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, and felt that that was enough evidence to support his claim.

“Take a look. I mean, you look at the names, you look at what’s happened. You tell me,” he continued.

Hillary Clinton


Hillary Clinton acknowledged different aspects of violence that could put Americans at risk, and expressed that she wanted that to stop.

“I want people to feel safe. If you go to the store, or you go to work, you go to the movies, you go to church, you take your kid to school — you should be safe,” Clinton told the LA Times.

She spoke about how the fight against violence is going on in a lot of different ways, and how she believes the U.S. should respond with unity.

“We’ve got too many disagreements, too much division, and people are being kind of negative,” she said, according to the LA Times. And there’s nothing we can’t do if we get our focus together, if we start working with people again. We’re going to have differences. But there’s got to be a way to end some of the hot rhetoric and the negative attitudes that people are spewing forth.”

Ted Cruz


Ted Cruz kept his response to the shooting brief, expressing that he considered this a possible terrorist act and offering prayers for the families.

“At this point the details of what happened in San Bernardino is still unclear. All of us are deeply concerned that this is yet another manifestation of terrorism, radical Islamic terrorism here at home,” Cruz said Thursday to the Republican Jewish Coalition, according to CNN.

Chris Christie


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie mentioned the possibility of a third world war in his comments about the shooting.

“I am convinced that was a terrorist attack,” Christie said, according to Newjersey.com

The couple who launched the attack “came there to do something. Every place in America is a place for a terrorist attack. We are in the midst of the next world war,” he said. 

Martin O’Malley


Martin O’Malley also responded in the form of a tweet, this time invoking new gun control measures.

“Horrifying news out of #SanBernardino. Enough is enough: it’s time to stand up to the @NRA and enact meaningful gun safety laws,” he tweeted.

Mike Huckabee


According to CBS, Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s response was that there were two things necessary in order for a mass shooting to occur, and that both were present at the scene of the San Bernardino shooting.

“One: A mentally unstable person. Two: A gun-free zone. And those seem to be the common denominators,” he told CBS.

Carly Fiorina


Carly Fiorina focused her comments on President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton instead of talking about the victims, the tragedy or what she planned to do going forward, according to ABC News.

“As the tragedy in San Bernardino unfolds, predictably, without knowing any of the facts of what has happened there or why, President Obama and Hillary Clinton immediately came out and made a political statement for gun control. We know, the facts are very clear, that of all the people in the United States that should not own firearms, and there are so many, less than 1 percent of them are ever prosecuted,” Fiorina said in a Twitter town hall Wednesday night. “So instead of, Mrs. Clinton, calling for more laws, why don’t we enforce the laws that we have and as well enforce the Second Amendment.”

She also suspected that the attack was a “homegrown terrorist attack” by “Islamist extremist suspects,” according to ABC.

“Everything points to a terrorist attack, a homegrown terrorist attack such as the FBI director has been warning us about,” Fiorina said in an interview on Fox. “Our own FBI director said recently that the FBI was ‘overwhelmed by the number of Islamist extremist suspects in the U.S. today.'”

Jeb Bush, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson

“Praying for the victims and first responders in #SanBernardino for a quick resolution,” Former New York Governor Pataki tweeted.

“Praying for the victims, their families & the San Bernardino first responders in the wake of this tragic shooting,” Former Florida Governor Bush tweeted.

My thoughts & prayers go out to those impacted by the shooting in San Bernardino, especially the first responders. -John,” Former Ohio Governor Kasich tweeted.

Thoughts & prayers are with #SanBernardino,” Senator Graham tweeted.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families, and brave first responders during this unspeakable tragedy,” Senator Paul tweeted.

Senator Marco Rubio told Fox and Friends that President Obama should be portraying the San Bernardino tragedy as a terrorism issue instead of a gun control issue. Ben Carson called the shooting a “hate crime.”
Kayla is a second year student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she's studying literature and history. She loves working with kids, and has worked at the same summer camp for the past four summers. Someday, she hopes to become a high school English teacher. You can follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kaylaeatskale and find all of her work at www.clippings.me/kaylalayaoen
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