CHICAGO (CBSNewYork) — Paul Nehlen, the Republican facing House Speaker Paul Ryan in an upcoming GOP primary in Wisconsin, suggested that the United States should have a discussion about deporting all Muslims.
Nehlen, who appeared on Chicago’s WIND-AM 560 “The Answer” earlier this week, was asked if he was suggesting that all Americans should be deported from the U.S.
“I’m suggesting we have a discussion about it, that’s for sure,” Nehlen, who has endorsed Donald Trump, said. “I’m absolutely suggesting we figure something out. Here’s what we should be doing, we should be monitoring every mosque, we should be monitoring all social media.”
He added, “The question is, why do we have Muslims in the country?”
Nehlen said that the “breakpoint” should be those who support Sharia law.
“I don’t believe the breakpoint is terrorism … the breakpoint is Sharia. If the Muslim is Sharia compliant, that is in direct conflict with the U.S. Constitution,” Nehlen said.
Nehlen is a longshot to upset Ryan in the primary.
“If Paul Ryan is re-elected, if he’s sent back to Congress, he will push for the biggest amnesty in this country’s history; and immediately after his re-election, he will push Obama’s jailbreak crime agenda. If Americans want President Trump to be successful, we must retire Speaker Ryan,” Nehlen said.
Trump previously called for a ban on Muslims entering the country.
Nehlen made headlines this week after Trump praised him in an interview with The Washington Post, saying he’s been running “a very good campaign,” while refusing to endorse Speaker Ryan.
“I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country. We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I’m just not quite there yet. I’m not quite there yet,” Trump told the Post.
The phrase echoed Ryan’s own words in May, when he demurred on Trump, saying “I’m not there right now,” before eventually going on to support him.
Ryan has been highly critical of Trump’s attacks on a bereaved couple whose son died in Iraq and who took the stage at the Democratic National Convention to criticize Trump.
On Thursday, Ryan again condemned Trump’s remarks about the Khans as “beyond the pale” and acknowledged that at some point, Trump could go too far for Ryan to be able to continue to support him.
Ryan said he didn’t want to get drawn into “hypotheticals” but said, “None of these things are ever blank checks. That goes with any situation in any kind of race.”
He also criticized Trump’s wildly undisciplined campaign in the days since the Republican convention.
“We just came out of our convention, and yeah, he’s had a pretty strange run since the convention. You would think we’d ought to be focusing on Hillary Clinton and all of her deficiencies,” Ryan said. “She is such a weak candidate that one would think we’d be on offense against Hillary Clinton, and it is distressing that that’s not what we’re talking about these days.”
The speaker said it is his duty to speak up against Trump on issues like the Khan family or his criticism of an American-born judge of Mexican descent whom Trump had also attacked.
“I don’t like doing this. I don’t want to do this. But I will do this,” Ryan said. “Because I feel I have to, in order to defend Republicans, and our principles, so that people don’t make the mistake of thinking we think like that.”