Immigration

Huffington Post’s Anti-Trump Disclaimer Falsely Implies Other GOP Candidates Aren’t Also Xenophobes

CREDIT: AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt

Donald Trump (R) on Wednesday in Gilbert, SC

After abandoning its previous attempts to cover GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump only in its “entertainment” section, the Huffington Post said Thursday that it will now carry a disclaimer on all Trump stories highlighting Trump’s extreme anti-immigrant views.

At the bottom of a story Wednesday night, the online news site wrote: “Note to our readers: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.”

A Huffington Post spokesperson told Politico that they were doing this only for Trump: “Yes, we’re planning to add this note to all future stories about Trump … No other candidate has called for banning 1.6 billion people from the country! If any other candidate makes such a proposal, we’ll append a note under pieces about them.”

But contrary to that claim, Trump is in good company in the GOP primary field when it comes to xenophobia. Among his opponents:

Jeb Bush

Bush has proposed a religious test for Syrian refugees, suggesting that only those “who can prove [they] are a Christians” should be allowed to emmigrate. His suggested screening method would be looking at the last names applicants. While he once called unlawful immigration an “act of love,” he more recently told critics to “chill out” over his use of the offensive slur “anchor babies.”

Ben Carson

Carson opposes birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants and opposed accepting any Syrian refugees, comparing them to “rabid dogs.” He also defended Trump’s claim that Mexican immigrants were rapists, scolding the “PC police.”

Chris Christie

Christie abandoned his onetime support for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and now proposes treating immigrants like FedEx packages. He opposed allowing Syrian refugees — even singling out “orphans under the age of five“. While he has said he does not believe Trump’s deportation strategy would work, he has suggested effective enforcement could encourage self-deportation and wants to reconsider the 14th amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship.

Ted Cruz

Cruz proposed a ban on all non-Christian Syrian refugees and commended Trump’s plan to prohibit all Muslims from entering the U.S., saying “I commend Donald Trump for standing up and focusing America’s attention on the need to secure our borders.” He has embraced a deportation plan for 11.3 million undocumented immigrants that is even tougher than Trump’s, ruling out letting them apply for citizenship in the future. Asked by an undocumented teenager earlier this month if he would deport her, Cruz assured her that he would, telling her that “violating the laws has consequences.” Moreover, he said in December, he would not just build Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, but would hire Trump to oversee the effort.

Rand Paul

Paul opposes Syrian refugee immigration, proposing to block visas for refugees from all “countries with a high risk of terrorism,” and calling their acceptance “misplaced humanitarianism.” He has proposed deporting undocumented kids by cutting funding for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Marco Rubio

Once a strong backer of comprehensive immigration reform, Rubio helped kill his own bill and abandoned its direct path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Moreover, he has vowed to deport DREAMers, the undocumented kids protected under DACA. He opposes allowing Syrian refugees, claiming, “It’s not that we don’t want to, it’s that we can’t.”

*****

Though the Republican National Committee’s post-2012 autopsy called for a change of approach and tone on immigration, the party’s problem with xenophobia clearly extends well beyond Trump.

There appears to be no plan to add similar disclaimers to coverage of these and other candidates — implicitly suggesting that their views are less xenophobic and more acceptable.