Clinton: "I don't think we're at war with Islam." AFP PHOTO/ MANDEL NGANMANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

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A semantic fault line has erupted between Republicans and Democrats in the 2016 presidential race: what to call Islamic terrorists and their ideology.

Republicans are calling it "radical Islam" and have been criticizing Democrats for not doing the same - an attack they ramped up in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. Democrats on the debate stage Saturday refused to use that term.

"I don’t think we’re at war with Islam. I don’t think we’re at war with most Muslims. We’re at war with jihadists," former secretary of state Hillary Clinton said Saturday night.

Sen. Bernie Sanders said it doesn't matter what you call it, so long as it is defeated.

"I don't think the term is what's important," he said.

Former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley does think the terms are significant, because using the term "radical Islam" could signify something broader than jihadists.

"Let's not fall into the trap of thinking our Muslim-American neighbors .. are the enemy," he said. "Understand the brutal and barbaric group is perverting the name of a great religion."

Republicans have said that Democrats are not calling terrorism what it is, and therefore won't be able to defeat it.

"There is a consequence to having an administration, to President Obama, to Hillary Clinton, being unwilling to call radical Islamic terrorism by its name," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said Saturday in Greenville, S.C.

During the debate former Florida governor Jeb Bush tweeted, "Yes, we are at war with radical Islamic terrorism. #DemDebate"