Both major U.S. presidential candidates responded to the terrorist attack in France Thursday night by saying the United States is at war with radical jihadists. Hillary Clinton’s response, however, was far more tempered than that of Donald Trump.
Republican candidate Trump said the U.S. needs to get “tough” on terrorists, and if he were president he would ask for a formal declaration of war from Congress against the Islamic State group, while Democrat Clinton urged caution and called for more intelligence gathering against terrorists.
Trump told Fox television he would be prepared to declare war on unspecified terrorists and commit NATO troops in a “world war.”
Clinton was later asked on CNN about Trump’s comments.
“I think it is clear we are at war with these terrorist groups and what they represent. It is a different kind of war and we need to be smart about how we wage it and win it. So I think we need to look at all possible approaches to doing just that,” she said.
Political figures from around the country – and from both sides of the political aisle – echoed the two presidential nominees sentiments about taking out Islamist terror threats.
Indiana Governor and presumptive Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence called the attack a “horrific reminder of the threat facing Western civilization.”
“As we mourn with the people of France, we must resolve to bring justice to all those responsible and defeat this enemy of civilization at its source,” he said in a statement.
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Rep. Sean Maloney (D-New York) posted on Twitter that he is “devastated to hear of another terrorist attack on France.”
“[We] have to destroy ISIS & eliminate [the] threat of radical Islamic terror for good,” he said.
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pennsylvania) tweeted that he was “praying” for France.
Rep. Dave Joyce (R-Ohio) said he was “sickened” by the attack. “It is one more act of terrorism taking more innocent lives. It needs to stop,” he posted on his Twitter account.
Many other politicians expressed their condolences and offered sympathy to the victims of the attack.
On Thursday night, a man driving a truck plowed through a large crowd of people celebrating France’s Bastille Day in Nice, killing at 84 people and wounding many others.