White House press secretary Josh Earnest sharply denounced Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying that his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States is “disqualifying” and calling on all other Republicans to renounce any support for the real estate mogul even if he becomes the GOP nominee.
“What he said is disqualifying,” Earnest said of Trump. “And any Republican who’s too fearful of the Republican base to admit it has no business serving as president either.”
Denouncing Trump as a “carnival barker,” Earnest called Trump’s plan “entirely inconsistent with the values enshrined in our Constitution.”
“The question now is about the rest of the Republican Party and whether or not they’re going to be dragged into the dust-bin of history with him,” he said, calling on Republicans running for president to renounce their pledges to support Trump if he wins the GOP nomination.
On Monday, Trump released a statement declaring that he “is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.”
The statement drew derision from both sides of the aisle. On Tuesday morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan said “What was proposed was not what party stands for or country stands for." Candidates like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio called the idea unserious and divisive.
Earnest suggested Tuesday that those condemnations aren’t enough if Republican candidates fail to say they won’t support Trump is he wins the GOP nod.
“If they are so cowed by Mr. Trump and his supporters that they are not willing to stand by the values enshrined in the Constitution, then they have no business serving as president of the United States themselves,” he said.