If the New Hampshire debates settled anything, it’s which party has the stomach to take on radical Islam. The Democrats couldn’t even identify the enemy. Not once. Really.
We scanned the transcripts of Saturday’s debates hosted by ABC News and tallied up the references to Islamic terrorism. The rhetorical divide between Democrats and Republicans on that score alone — ignoring the yawning gaps in policy — is stunning.
None of the four Democrat presidential candidates — despite running for an office that demands they lead the ongoing global war against Islamic extremists — could bring himself or herself to define the enemy we face as Islamic.
Their combined references to “Islam” or “Islamic” totaled zero — even though moderator Charles Gibson prompted them with a question about “Islamic radicals” threatening the U.S. with nuclear terrorism.
But Democrats refused to go there. Out of respect for their constituency, there was a complete blackout regarding Islamic jihad.
Instead, Hillary Clinton defined the enemy generically as “stateless terrorists,” while Barack Hussein Obama complained about the “politics of fear” that he thinks accurately defining the enemy has created.
Republicans, on the other hand, called the enemy by its proper name.
The candidates referred to terrorists and terrorism as “Islamic,” while also citing radical “Islam” as the problem, no less than 22 times. For example:
• Rudy Giuliani argued the U.S. must stay “on offense against Islamic terrorism.”
• Mike Huckabee said the source of the threat we face is from the “radical Islamic faith.” “This is an Islamic problem,” he said. “This is a jihadist problem. This is an Islamofascism problem.”
Huckabee elaborated: “They are prompted by the fact that they must establish a worldwide caliphate that has nothing to do with us other than we live and breathe, and their intention is to destroy us.”
• John McCain warned that “the transcendent challenge of the 21st century is radical Islamic extremists.”
• Mitt Romney said the “philosophy of radical jihadism says, ‘We want to kill.’ “
• Fred Thompson asserted, “We are in a global war with radical Islam. They declared war on us a long, long time ago. We took note, really, for the first time on Sept. 11, 2001.”