Presidential Candidates All Agree: Paris Attacks Are ‘Harrowing’

Paris Terrorists Attacks Bataclan Theater
AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu

Presidential candidates extended thoughts and prayers in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, and the tragedy is expected to be a significant topic at the Democratic presidential debate on Saturday.

CBS News is monitoring the developments, but plans are moving forward for its debate coverage on Saturday evening from Des Moines, Iowa. John Dickerson is moderating the event, with cosponsors KCCI and the Des Moines Register.

According to CNN, GOP candidate Ben Carson told reporters on Friday night, “It reminds us that there are those out there who have a thirst for innocent blood in an attempt to spread their philosophy and will across the globe. And we must redouble our efforts and our resolve to resist them. Not only to contain them, but to eliminate that kind of hatred in the world.”

“The mindset in our country at least needs to change to recognize it for what it is: This is an organized effort to destroy western civilization,” Jeb Bush said on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show. “And we need to lead in this regard.”

In the hours after the attacks, Democratic and Republican candidates refrained from heated rhetoric in messages posted on Twitter.

“My prayers are with the victims and hostages in the horrible Paris attacks. May God be with you all,” wrote Donald Trump.

“Horrific reports coming out of Paris. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people of France — our oldest ally,” wrote Ted Cruz.

“The reports from Paris are harrowing. Praying for the city and families of the victims,” wrote Hillary Clinton.

Clinton’s campaign released a longer statement. “We must stand side-by-side every step of the way with France and our allies around the world to wage and win the struggle against terrorism and violent extremism. Even in this darkest night, Paris remains the City of Light.”

Later in the evening, Cruz issued a more pointed statement, calling for a “halt to any plans to bring refugees that may have been infiltrated by ISIS to the United States. We need to redouble our efforts to prevent ISIS agents from penetrating our nation by other means.”

“We must immediately recognize that our enemy is not ‘violent extremism.’ It is the radical Islamism that has declared jihad against the west. It will not be appeased by outreach or declarations of tolerance,” he added.

Other political figures also weighed in about the attacks and Syrian refugees.

“Now we can have a serious debate about millions of Syrian refugees and how many terrorists will be in the crowd,” wrote Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and 2012 presidential candidate.

“Imagine a theater with 10 or 15 citizens with concealed carry permits. We live in an age when evil men have to be killed by good people,” Gingrich added.