2020 Dems hammer Trump over Cummings attacks

Many Democratic presidential candidates hit President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE Saturday after he blasted House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsThe sad spectacle of Trump’s enablers Democrat Kweisi Mfume wins House primary in Maryland Key races to watch in Tuesday’s primaries MORE (D-Md.) over his criticism of the White House’s immigration policy.

Trump hammered Cummings as a “brutal bully” and sought to cast Cummings’s Baltimore-area district as “dangerous” and “disgusting,” claiming that the Maryland city was “corrupt” and that “no human being would want to live there.”

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The attacks, and the blowback from the 2020 Democrats, put into finer relief how Trump’s rhetoric toward lawmakers of color is becoming a central issue in next year’s presidential race.

“.@RepCummings is one of the finest people I’ve ever served with. It is despicable for you to attack him and the people of Baltimore this way. Once again you have proved yourself unfit to hold the office. A President is supposed to lift this nation up. Not tear it down,” former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE, the current frontrunner of the crowded primary field, tweeted. 

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.), another top-tier contender, said she is “proud” her campaign headquarters is in Baltimore and said it was “disgraceful” that Trump was “disparaging this great American city.” 

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.) called the attacks “painful,” adding “silence is toxic complicity.”

“In his words and in his actions, Trump has been the most openly racist president we’ve had in modern history,” former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke echoed. 

Several 2020 contenders called the attacks racist, noting that he often reserves some of his harshest criticism for lawmakers of color.

“I was proud to serve in the House with @RepCummings for many years. He is, above all, a man who serves his constituents and his country with honor and integrity,” Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeInslee calls on Trump to ‘stay out of Washington state’s business’ Seattle mayor responds to Trump: ‘Go back to your bunker’ Trump warns he will take back Seattle from ‘ugly Anarchists’ if local leaders don’t act MORE tweeted. “Donald Trump, on the other hand, is just a racist who lives in the White House.”

“Words MATTER. No one is fooled by Trump’s racist dog-whistling,” New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioProtesters splash red paint on NYC streets to symbolize blood De Blasio: Robert E Lee’s ‘name should be taken off everything in America, period’ House Democratic whip pushes back on calls to defund police: We need to focus on reform MORE tweeted. “We’re standing with you, @RepCummings.”

“Mr. Trump always shows his true colors when he‘s nervous or feels attacked. It’s not a coincidence that he continues to lash out at lawmakers of color,” added entrepreneur Tom SteyerTom SteyerBloomberg wages war on COVID-19, but will he abandon his war on coal? Overnight Energy: 600K clean energy jobs lost during pandemic, report finds | Democrats target diseases spread by wildlife | Energy Dept. to buy 1M barrels of oil Ocasio-Cortez, Schiff team up to boost youth voter turnout MORE.

The attacks on Cummings came after the Maryland Democrat bashed the White House’s hardline immigration policies, which he has likened to “government-sponsored child abuse.”

As chairman of the oversight panel, Cummings is also at the center of an ongoing feud between the administration and House Democrats over Congress’ oversight powers and the White House’s repeated refusal to honor subpoenas from Cummings’ committee.

“Rep. Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous,” Trump asserted in a tweet.

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“His district is considered the Worst in the USA as proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded,” Trump continued. “Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.”

Trump’s broadsides against Baltimore echo similar remarks he made before his inauguration about civil rights icon Rep. John LewisJohn LewisPresident sinks amid stumbles over protests Long lines, lack of voting machines frustrate voters during Georgia’s primary election John Lewis visits ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza,’ calls protests ‘very moving’ MORE’ (D-Ga.) district, which he called “crime infested,” leading many to suggest the president has a certain view of districts represented by minority lawmakers.

Both Cummings’ and Lewis’ districts have high levels of education and wealth comparative to other surrounding.

The rebukes to Trump’s Saturday remarks echo those following recent comments Trump made about four progressive congresswomen of color, telling them to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” 

Democrats lambasted Trump, saying the remarks played on historic tropes that people of color should go back to where they belong despite being Americans. The House formally condemned the comments as racist in a vote.

Many 2020 Democrats have repeatedly sought to burnish their appeal by hitting Trump over his comments on race, with Biden saying the president’s reaction to the 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Va., when he said there were “fine people” among both white nationalists and counter-protesters, helped him decide to jump into the race and several others labeling the president as a bigot.

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