WATCH: 'Xenophobia, anti-Muslim Bashing' Will Be Rewarded in GOP Field, Says Reza Aslan

'I'm not that surprised. In fact, the only thing I'm surprised about is the Muslim-bashing has taken this long to come out in the GOP field.'

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CNN Transcript:

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: As a religious scholar and a Muslim-American, what is your reaction when you hear Dr. Carson saying that he wouldn't support the idea of a Muslim president? 

REZA ASLAN: I'm not that surprised. In fact, the only thing I'm surprised about is the Muslim-bashing has taken this long to come out in the GOP field. I mean, in 2012 we had Herman Cain saying he would never have a Muslim serve on his cabinet, we had Newt Gingrich promising a constitutional amendment banning Sharia in this country. And, frankly, you know, the comments of Trump and particularly Dr. Carson, I think are going to be rewarded in the GOP field. 

The Carson campaign has already boasted that 24 hours after making that comment, they've got 100,000 new Facebook followers. I think the numbers are going to go up and I think as a result, you're going to see other candidates sort of playing this game, as well. Xenophobia, anti-Muslim bashing in the modern GOP today, sadly, that's how you get votes.