By Marisa Fusinski
LANSING (WWJ) - Republican Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is distancing himself from his party's presidential front-runner who has proposed a plan to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.
"Just as it's not right to lump people together, lumping me with Donald Trump just because we're both Republicans is not a good thing," Snyder said during a visit to the WWJ Newsradio 950 studios Wednesday — his comments in line with what many other GOP leaders have been saying since Trump's controversial statement last week.
"I've been quite clear that I'm proud of the fact that we have the largest Arab-American community in the United States here in Michigan. I think it's great," he said. "It represents wonderful, wonderful diversity. What great contributions to our society in Michigan they're making, and we're all Michiganders together."
Snyder said Trump's call to ban Muslims from coming into the county is "absolutely inappropriate."
"It doesn't reflect the spirit of America," Snyder said. "We want to be a welcoming place. That's what made us a great country, is embracing immigration."
The governor was asked how those sentiments jive with his recent call for a halt to accepting Syrian refugees in the state.
"I think that was what I would describe as good common sense," Snyder said. "Didn't people get concerned after Paris? Didn't you get concerned after bombings in Lebanon? Didn't people get concerned after watching an...airplane blow up over Egypt?"
"Shouldn't we work with the federal government to make sure that they're doing everything possible?" the governor asked, adding: "I never inferred that they weren't...but isn't a fair question to ask?"
Given these concerns, does Snyder still hope Michigan will be able to welcome more Syrian refugees?
"Yeah. I've always said that. I've always been very consistent about that," he said. "It has to be struck in the right balance with national security, though, too."
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