Carlos Beruff, a GOP candidate for Senate in Florida, says he wants to ban anyone from the Middle East from entering the United States.
Beruff, a businessman and property developer, was asked about his “position on Muslim immigration” after a speech in Florida on Monday night, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
"I think our immigration department is broken. And I don't think it's safe to allow anybody from the Middle East into this country,” Beruff said, adding he meant “until they fix it.”
When pressed by reporters, Beruff said his list of banned countries would include "pretty much anybody that's got a terrorist organization in it, which is pretty much all the Middle East.
"I think it's pretty simple. We have a system that doesn't work. When they fix that, I don't care,” Beruff said. “But right now, we have a terrorist threat that's very real. You want to ignore it, but I don't."
But the homebuilder noted “Israel is an exception” due to the country’s “pretty strong” security measures. He also said his ban would include both Christians and Muslims.
"Unless you can tell me how you get the system to be able to do that correctly, I think it applies to everybody," he said.
Beruff is running in a crowded GOP field to replace Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate GOP campaign arm outraises Democratic counterpart in September House passes bills to secure telecommunications infrastructure Senators call for answers from US firm over reported use of forced Uyghur labor in China MORE (R-Fla.). His competition includes Reps. David Jolly (R-Fla.) and Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos López-Cantera and businessman Todd Wilcox.
Reps. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.) and Alan GraysonAlan Mark GraysonDeSantis tops Crist, Fried in poll of Florida governor race Florida Rep. Val Demings officially enters Senate race against Rubio Demings raises Democrats' hopes in uphill fight to defeat Rubio MORE (D-Fla.) are locked in a heated battle in the Democratic primary. The party establishment has rallied behind Murphy.
Murphy’s campaign was quick to bash Beruff’s comments, linking them to GOP presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE’s rhetoric. Trump has previously proposed banning Muslims from entering the United States and monitoring Muslim neighborhoods.
Murphy called on the other Senate candidates to condemn the businessman’s remark.
“Carlos Beruff’s statement is not only disgraceful, but his full embrace of [Republican presidential front-runner] Donald Trump's extreme bigotry is flat-out un-American,” Murphy said in a statement.
“As a nation of immigrants, our country was founded on the principles of diversity and tolerance. It's what makes America truly great. Mr. Beruff's asinine comments and out-of-touch values are not just dangerous to our democracy, but are absolutely unacceptable for any candidate who wants to represent Floridians in the U.S. Senate.”