On Friday Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said: “I think we should have a database on everybody who comes into this country” and added “hopefully, we already have a database on every citizen who is already here. If we don’t, we are doing a very poor job.”
Carson made the remark as he filed for the New Hampshire presidential primary in Concord.
The question was posed after Donald Trump declared earlier in the week during a campaign stop in Idaho “security is going to rule” if he is elected.
“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before,” he responded when asked if he would permit the use of warrantless searches.
“And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule. And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”
“I would certainly implement that,” Trump said about a database tracking Muslims. “Absolutely.”
“I hope that we have a database on everybody!” Carson said when asked by a reported to comment on Trump’s remark.
“If we don’t have a database on every foreigner who comes into the country, we’re being negligent. I want us to be able to know who they are; I want us to know where they came from; I want us to know where they’re going and why they’re here.”
On Friday Trump backed away from the comment.
Asked by Sara Murray of CNN if he would rule out Muslim databases, Trump replied he didn’t “know where you heard that.”
Asked again by Murray if he supported the idea, Trump did not answer.
“I never responded to that question, Sara,” he said.