Republican presidential candidates Tuesday quickly denounced President Barack Obama's plan
to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, where some of the world's most dangerous terrorists have been held.
"This makes no sense to me," Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said at a morning rally in Las Vegas, just hours before the state's caucuses were set to begin, CNN
"We're not giving back an important naval base to an anti-American communist dictatorship," he said, adding Guantanamo prisoners don't belong on U.S. soil.
"These are literally enemy combatants," he said.
In a statement
, Rubio said the president's "latest effort is a continuation of prioritizing his own legacy over the safety of the American people."
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, also on Tuesday, said he "profoundly disagrees" with the White House plan, telling Fox News: "These are people, some of them are the worst of the worst. Why would we send them into our country?"
Obama's plan would move the majority of detainees to other countries while moving those who are thought to be too dangerous to an as-yet undetermined lockup in the United States.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has eyed the plan with suspicion, saying he believes the president's intention is to ultimately give the land back to Cuba.
"I fear by the end of this year President Obama plans to give the Guantanamo Navy Base back to Cuba. I hope he doesn't do that," Cuz said last week, Politico
reported at the time.
"I think it is a profound risk."
"The people in Guantanamo at this point, it's down to the worst of the worst. A really alarming percentage of the people released from Guantanamo return immediately to waging Jihad, return immediately to going back trying to murder Americans."
In South Carolina last week, Trump also declared he'd put a stop to the prisoner release at Gitmo, an NBC affiliate
"They shouldn't be closing Gitmo or Guantanamo Bay in any way shape or form and they shouldn't be moving people, hardened criminals, into this area," he declared. "I will stop it."
In December, the front-runner said he actually put more terrorists in the facility.
"I would leave it just the way it is, and I would probably fill it up with more people that are looking to kill us," he said on "Election Central with Rita Cosby" on WABC radio, The Hill
reported at the time.
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