Dem senator: 'Anti-Muslim rhetoric' worries foreign leaders
© Greg Nash
 
"I was in the Middle East in January and back-to-back had evening meetings with Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu in Israel and President [Recep] Erdoğan in Turkey," Kaine told VA Talk Radio this week. "These guys agree on nothing, but they both said to this group of senators, ‘What’s going on in the presidential race?’”
 
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Kaine, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, was one of eight Democratic senators who met with Netanyahu on a trip overseas earlier this year. 
 
He added that the foreign leaders are "very worried about some of the anti-Muslim rhetoric coming out of some of the candidates because they are societies that are too sectarian."
 
"They hope one day to be less sectarian, but the only way to get there is if they have an example of a country where people of different religions can live and work together and go to school together and make it work. We’ve been that example for them, and they’re very nervous when they see us backsliding," he told the local radio station. 
 
Democrats have been quick to call out rhetoric from Republican presidential candidates, including Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report MORE's push to block Muslims from entering the country.
 
 
"From a declaration that we shouldn't allow Muslims into the United States, to horrible stereotypes trafficked about many ethnic groups in this country," Kaine said at a National Press Club event. "This hateful rhetoric which I condemn and abhor — it is the death spasm of a feeling people have about losing control."
 
Kaine's remarks to VA Talk Radio were first reported by BuzzFeed.