Former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay tells Newsmax TV
that while he's no fan of Donald Trump, the billionaire developer and GOP presidential candidate is "onto something" with his call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States in a bid to curb terrorism at home.
"I wouldn't vote for him. But at the same time, he is onto something here. We have got to be better at what we're doing," DeLay said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show."
"Muslim or other people that travel to these terrorist states should be vetted more than any and certainly right now we should have a moratorium on anybody that has set foot in any terrorist state or anywhere where terrorists are housed."
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DeLay, of Texas, also called on Republicans to "completely" change their strategy on fighting terror.
"Where are the Republican candidates standing up and rejecting [President Barack] Obama completely and saying, ‘Look, we've got a cancer, we're the most powerful nation in the world, we have to go after that cancer and root it out?'"
DeLay added that lawmakers must "turn all our law enforcement on the Muslim community, on these mosques, and find these bad people and either arrest them or deport them or both."
On Tuesday, the White House condemned Trump's view on Muslims, with press secretary Josh Earnest telling reporters the real estate tycoon's call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. for the time being disqualifies him from running for president.
Earnest said: "What he said is disqualifying, and any Republican who’s too fearful of the Republican base to admit it has no business serving as president either."
But DeLay believes Earnest's remarks might actually help Trump in the polls.
"I hope Trump isn't paying Earnest to make those kinds of statements because he just increased his polls, probably by 10 points," DeLay said.
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