KEENE, N.H. — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Wednesday that he would send Syrian refugees "back" if he were elected to the White House.
In New Hampshire for the first time since he failed to correct a man's rant about President Barack Obama being a Muslim, Trump was greeted by a few thousand cheering fans — and he was fired up.
Trump outlined the specifics of his new tax plan. But in typical Trump fashion, he didn’t stop there.
On the topic of Syrian refugees, Trump was forceful: "I'm putting people on notice that are coming here from Syria as part of this mass migration, that if I win, they're going back!”
He explained: “They could be ISIS …This could be one of the great tactical ploys of all time. A 200,000-man army maybe, or if you said 50,000 or 80,000 or 100,000, we got problems and that could be possible. I don't know that it is, but it could be possible so they’re going back — they’re going back.”
At least four million refugees have fled the four-year civil war in Syria. Many have fled to Europe, which is struggling with its worst migration crisis since World War II. The U.S. has committed to accepting 10,000 Syrian refugees over the coming year.
Trump's comments mark a departure from his previous and softer remarks about the refugee crisis. During an address in Rochester, N.H., two weeks ago, Trump said of the crisis "we can do something, but we have to get other people to help us.”
Trump further lived up to his unfiltered reputation when he told the crowd that Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio’s friendship during this election cycle is “political bull****.”
The gymnasium snapped to attention at the expletive, though it isn’t the first time Trump has used unexpected, colorful language. This is the same candidate who, in discussing Secretary of State John Kerry’s bike accident during the Iran nuclear talks, said that others at the negotiating table viewed Kerry as a “schmuck.”
To attendees like Dr. William Gravert of Winchester, N.H., this was simply Trump being Trump. "Donald Trump says what people are thinking, what the average person is thinking," he told NBC News.