A New Hampshire Republican lawmaker who co-chairs Donald Trump’s campaign in the first-in-the-nation primary state came out in defense of the candidate’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration by citing the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II.
The lawmaker, Al Baldasaro, also said the chairwoman of the state’s Republican Party should resign for criticizing Trump’s remarks, reported WMUR:
State Republican Party chairwoman Jennifer Horn said Monday that Donald Trump’s call for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States is “un-American.”
But two top Trump supporters in New Hampshire said the controversial Republican presidential frontrunner is right.
State Reps. Al Baldasaro of Londonderry and Steve Stepanek of Amherst said Horn should resign her post for criticizing Trump because she is not being neutral in the presidential primary.
But Baldasaro, a co-chair of Trump’s state veterans coalition, said Trump is “100 percent right” and Horn is wrong.
“What he’s saying is no different than the situation during World War II, when we put the Japanese in camps,” Baldasaro, a Marine veteran, said. “The people who attacked innocent people in Paris came through open borders. From a military mind standpoint, all Donald Trump is saying is to do what needs to be done until we get a handle on how to do background checks.”
Baldasaro said a petition is being circulated among some New Hampshire Republicans to convene a special Republican State Committee meeting to call on Horn to resign or to try to remove her from office. He said he signed a such a petition on Monday night.
“She needs to resign because she has no clue,” Baldasaro said. “She’s my friend, but I have to separate that from the Republican Party.”
Trump himself said that he wouldn’t have ruled out supporting internment camps for Japanese-Americans had he been around at the time:
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump told TIME that he does not know whether he would have supported or opposed the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
“I would have had to be there at the time to tell you, to give you a proper answer,” he said during a recent interview in his office in New York City. “I certainly hate the concept of it. But I would have had to be there at the time to give you a proper answer.”
Trump added that he believes wartime sometimes requires difficult choices. “It’s a tough thing. It’s tough,” he said. “But you know war is tough. And winning is tough. We don’t win anymore. We don’t win wars anymore. We don’t win wars anymore. We’re not a strong country anymore. We’re just so off.”
Pressed numerous times during an appearance Monday morning on MSNBC to say whether or not the internment violated American values, Trump refused to respond.