Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Tuesday that the American people have "big hearts" but cannot "take the risk of refugees."
Trump answered questions before a primarily pro-military crowd in Virginia Beach, Virginia with retired General Michael Flynn, a strong Trump supporter, doing the asking.
Trump said the U.S. could not allow thousands of refugees from the Mideast and South Asia into the country until it knew "what's going on."
He said migrants had been a disaster for Germany and France, because of an increase in crime. But German police have said the numbers of crimes committed by Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis are much lower than acts committed by other groups seeking asylum.
'Unacceptable' increase in entrants
Trump accused Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton of wanting a 500 percent increase in the number of migrants allowed to enter the country, calling it "unacceptable," and said Clinton and President Barack Obama wanted to treat illegal immigrants better than U.S. military veterans.
He said the nuclear deal Iran signed with the United States and five other world powers turned Iran itself into a "world power" overnight.
He assailed Secretary of State John Kerry for negotiating what he called a "dumb" deal, and said that thanks to what he called incompetence by Obama and Clinton, Iran and Islamic State militants would share Iraq's oil.
Appearing in Tampa, Florida, Clinton said it was Trump who had turned his back on U.S. service members, calling his campaign "one long insult" to those who have worn the uniform to protect American values.
She said Trump-owned companies had fired veterans who took time off to fulfill their military obligations. And she reminded voters of his public feud with the parents of a Muslim-American soldier killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq.
Clinton called it "mind-boggling" that Trump has hinted at using nuclear weapons against terrorists, saying he had "no clue" what he was talking about.
She accused Trump of calling global warming a Chinese-created hoax, while asking for sea walls to protect his golf courses from rising tides.
A CNN/ORC poll Tuesday showed Trump, a real estate mogul and former reality television show host running for elected office for the first time, edging ahead of Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of state, by a 45 percent to 43 percent margin, while a collection of polls compiled by realclearpolitics.com gives her about a 3 percentage-point advantage.
Trump won the endorsement Tuesday of 88 retired generals and admirals who said they believed he would rebuild the country's military and secure its borders
But he got a major blow when the traditionally conservative Dallas Morning News refused to endorse him for president.
The newspaper published an editorial saying "Trump doesn't reflect Republican ideals of the past. We are certain he shouldn't reflect the GOP of the future. Donald Trump is not qualified to serve as president and does not deserve your vote."
This was the first time since 1964 that the Dallas Morning News had declined to endorse a Republican for the White House.