The terror attacks in Paris have stimulated a shift in politics on issues of security, immigration and terrorism and have forced CBS to change the format of Saturday night’s Democratic debate to include questions about Friday’s shootings in the French capital that saw 129 people killed and over 350 injured.
“It is the right time to ask all the related questions that come to mind,” said Steve Capus, executive editor of CBS News, according to a New York Times report. “We think we have a game plan to address a lot of the substantive and important topics.”
According to Capus, the TV station was in the middle of a rehearsal for the debate when news broke about the attacks in Paris. Capus said it was important for the debate to go on because the world looks to the American president for leadership during international crises.
While some GOP candidates were criticized for politicizing the attacks as they were happening and in the immediate aftermath, most of the overall field offered somber reactions.
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton said that her thoughts were with those in Paris, while her rivals Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley also offered near identical responses.
The reports from Paris are harrowing. Praying for the city and families of the victims. -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 13, 2015
Horrified by the attacks in Paris tonight. My thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 13, 2015
Heartbreaking news from Paris. Praying for the country and its people. -O'M
— Martin O'Malley (@MartinOMalley) November 13, 2015
The Republicans candidates offered similar responses, but many included language that said the U.S. would stand with France against the perpetrators and those that are working with them. Donald Trump offered a barrage of tweets aimed at U.S. President Obama and overall White House leadership, while Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush took direct aim at the Islamic State group. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee used the attacks in Paris to call for a closure of the U.S. border, to build a strong coalition to destroy ISIS and to revoke the Iran nuclear deal, he noted in an email Saturday.
President Obama said "ISIL continues to shrink" in an interview just hours before the horrible attack in Paris. He is just so bad! CHANGE.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 14, 2015
America must stand with our allies against the scourge of radical Islamic terrorism: https://t.co/oM9GFyPift
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 14, 2015
These brutal terrorist attacks against innocent civilians are a reminder of the increasing dangers facing free peoples around the world(2/6)
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 14, 2015
Praying for Paris tonight. America will stand with you against terror.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) November 13, 2015
While the presidential candidates did not bring the controversial topic of gun control into light, Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House and 2012 presidential candidate said that the people in the Bataclan theater would have survived if they’d had weapons.
Imagine a theater with 10 or 15 citizens with concealed carry permits. We live in an age when evil men have to be killed by good people
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) November 13, 2015