Hundreds may have been wounded, and at least 34 people are dead, after terrorists struck the airport and metro rail systems in Brussels today. Two explosions rocked the airport outside of the Belgian capital, while another explosive device detonated close to the American embassy and European Union offices during morning rush hour.
On the same day, voters in Arizona and Utah were going to the polls to vote in primary races.
The five remaining principal presidential candidates offered various responses to the attack.
As for President Obama, he spoke in Havana and delivered less than one minute of remarks about the attack, vowing to send aid to Belgium. He did not single out Islamic terrorism as the source of the threat. Later, we went to a baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban all star team.
Here follows some excerpts of what the candidates said today:
Ted Cruz: “Radical Islam is at war with us,” said Cruz in advance of the admission by the Islamic State that its operatives had carried out the attack. “The truth is, we can never hope to defeat this evil so long as we refuse to name it,” Cruz said. “That ends on January 20, 2017, when I am sworn in as president.” The Texas senator also called for strengthening the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in order to address the global security threat posed by Islamic terrorism.
"It is striking that the day after Donald Trump called for weakening NATO, withdrawing from NATO, we see Brussels, where NATO is headquartered, the subject of a radical Islamic terror attack," Cruz said Tuesday in a news conference hours after terrorists struck civilian targets in Brussels, where the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is headquartered.
"Donald Trump is wrong that America should withdraw from the world and abandon our allies. Donald Trump is wrong that American should retreat from Europe, retreat from NATO, hand Putin a major victory and while he's at it hand ISIS a major victory," Cruz said.
Hillary Clinton: “We’ve got to tighten our security.”
Democratic frontrunner said on The Today Show that the attacks are “deeply distressing,” and called for measures such as a reform of how the United States issues visas to foreign visitors. “We have to intensify our effort to find and prevent terrorists from ever doing this again,” Clinton said. “We’ve got to tighten our security.”
“It’s unrealistic to say we’re going to completely shut down our borders to everyone,” she said. “That would stop commerce, for example, and that’s not in anybody’s interest.”
In a statement she released later, Clinton said terrorists “seek to undermine the democratic values that are the foundation of our alliance and our way of life, but they will never succeed.”
John Kasich: “We must utterly reject the use of deadly acts of terror.”
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, said in a statement today that the “attacks against our very way of life and against the democratic values upon which our political systems have been built.” He called for strengthening America’s alliances, and intelligence gathering, in the wake of the bombings.
Donald Trump: “We have to be very careful about who comes into our country.”
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump was interviewed on several different programs today. He lamented how Brussels had become a haven for foreign terrorists, while calling for additional security and scrutiny and enhanced interrogation methods. “Frankly, the waterboarding, if it was up to me, and if we changed the laws or had the laws, waterboarding would be fine,” Trump said. “If they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding. You have to get the information from these people.”
Of the attack, Trump said "this is just the beginning." He said, "I will tell you, I've been talking about this a long time, and look at Brussels," Trump said. "Brussels was a beautiful city, a beautiful place with zero crime. And now it's a disaster city. It's a total disaster, and we have to be very careful in the United States, we have to be very careful and very vigilant as to who we allow in this country. "
Bernie Sanders: “Come together to destroy ISIS.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders -- the avowed Socialist running for the Democratic Party's nomination -- released a statement offering his “deepest condolences” and called for the world to “come together to destroy ISIS.” “We offer our deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones in this barbaric attack and to the people of Brussels who were the target of another cowardly attempt to terrorize innocent civilians,” he wrote. “We stand with our European allies to offer any necessary assistance in these difficult times. Today’s attack is a brutal reminder that the international community must come together to destroy ISIS. This type of barbarism cannot be allowed to continue.”