With immigration and Donald Trump’s race-baiting grabbing headlines across the country, both were bound to surface early tonight during the start of the second round of Democratic debates. And the first candidate onstage to accuse the sitting president of racism was one who is quite familiar with these televised face-offs.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont broke that ICE. “What Trump is doing through his racism and his xenophobia is demonizing a group of people, and as president, I will end that demonization,” the 2016 campaign alum said. “If a mother and child walk thousands of miles on a dangerous path, in my view they are not criminals, they are people fleeing violence.”
Sanders added, “What we will do the first week in the White House is bring the entire hemisphere together to talk about how we rebuild Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador so people do not have to flee their own countries.”
The other candidates continued to debate the idea of decriminalizing immigration, but none referred to Trump as a racist.
Also on the CNN debate stage tonight in Detroit are Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts; Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, IN; Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; former Rep. Beto O’Rourke from Texas; Montana Gov. Steve Bullock; former Rep. John Delaney from Maryland; former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper; Rep. Tim Ryan from Ohio; and author-activist Marianne Williamson.
CNN’s Jake Tapper, Dana Bash and Don Lemon are tonight’s moderators.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.