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The Republican candidates spent all morning politicizing the Brussels terrorist attacks.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Donald Trump started things off by calling into morning shows on Fox, NBC, and CBS to talk about his poll numbers and how the attacks prove he’s right about securing the borders and bringing back torture. It was an absurd, familiar spectacle and his rivals for the Republican nomination were, once again, forced to operate in Trump’s shadow. They responded by trying to grab attention with far-fetched statements of their own. 

Ted Cruz, who has repeatedly called for the U.S. to “carpet bomb” ISIS, despite the fact that it would certainly kill civilians and violate international law, was the most belligerent. First, he posted a statement on Facebook that continued his proud tradition of blaming Obama for not saying words: “Radical Islam is at war with us. For over seven years we have had a president who refuses to acknowledge this reality.” Then, Cruz upped the ante by posting a larger statement calling for, among other things, U.S. law enforcement to turn Muslim neighborhoods into police states. 

Kasich was more muted, but still political. He first released a statement offering solidarity, thoughts, and prayers to the victims, then called on President Obama to return from his trip to Cuba and South America, declaring that “he wouldn’t be going to a baseball game” if he were president.