'Clock Kid' Surfaces as Topic in First Debate

But discussion leads to another about Kim Davis and religious freedom
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2015 6:34 PM CDT
George Pataki, left, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, and Lindsey Graham at the CNN debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valle, Calif.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(Newser) – The Muslim boy who was arrested today because teachers thought his homemade clock was a bomb surfaced as a subject in today's early debate on CNN among the four lower-tiered candidates. Asked about striking a balance between vigilance and discrimination, Bobby Jindal first emphasized that Muslim leaders must denounce terrorism because the US is "in a war with radical Islam." Then, pressed on the discrimination part, he added, "I don't think a 14-year-old boy should ever be arrested for bringing a clock to school." Jindal then pivoted to assert that Christians were facing discrimination, too, and brought up the Kim Davis case in Kentucky, reports the Washington Post. "Let's talk about that."

While Jindal and Rick Santorum defended Davis, George Pataki said she would have been fired is she were his employee for violating the law. Santorum wondered how many clerks, florists, etc. would be tossed into jail for defending their religious beliefs, but Pataki wasn't sympathetic, notes the Wall Street Journal. "We’re going to have a president who defies the Supreme Court?” he says. “Then you don’t have a rule of law.” As for Lindsey Graham, he said that while he disagrees with the court's ruling on gay marriage, he said the law must be followed, reports AP. "Kim Davis, I'm not worried about her attacking me," he added. "I am worried about radical Islamic terrorists who are already here planning another 9/11. We're at war, folks. I'm not fighting a crime." (Read more Republican debate stories.)

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