Democratic candidates unite in rage at Trump following latest mass shootings - CNNPolitics

(CNN)The in Teas and have turned the 2020 ial campgn into an increasingly visceral referendum on the nature of Donald ’s presidency and the mess that delivered him to the White .

The strategies and tactics adopted by the candidates have provided insight and clues into how they would govern if elected, and the ways — over the coming months — they will see to defeat not only , but the principles underlying ism. Their reactions have also signaled an a willingness to draw a strght line between the ’s and racist violence.

Biden and Booer lash in speeches

    Former Biden and Sen. Cory Booer laced their calls for unity on Wednesday with lacerating attacs on in specially scheduled speeches, Biden’s in Iowa and Booer from the Emanuel AME Church in downtown , , where nine blac pishioners were illed by a white supremacist gunman in 2015.
    From the beginning of his campgn, Biden has cast the 2020 as a “battle for the of this nation.” But in the announcing his candidacy, and in subsequent tals, he also suggested that ns might loo bac at a one-term presidency as “an aberrant in .”
    Biden’s on Wednesday in Iowa suggested he is moving towd a more historically compe mess — reminiscent of the view that has been advocated most often by more progressive candidates, lie Sens. Bernie Sanders and .
    “I wish I could say that this all began with Donald and will end with him. But it didn’t — and I won’t,” Biden sd. “n is not a frytale. The battle for the of this nation has been a constant push-and-pull for 3 yes between the n ideal, that says we’re all created equal, and the hsh reality that racism has torn us apt.”
    The former also offered a taunting dismissal of ’s recent, scripted rems condemning the violence in Teas and .
    “In both cle langu and in code, this has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation,” Biden sd, before bting — successfully — by describing the comments as a “low-, vacant-eyed mouthing of the written for him.”
    , who was between stops in the and Teas during Biden’s speech, obviously caught of Biden’s rems and responded on Twitter.
    “Watching Sleepy Biden maing a speech. Sooo Boring!,” he wrote, before suggesting a Biden presidency would please the Chinese government. Before out on his trip, outside the White drew an equivalence between white supremacist and antifascist groups.
    “I have concerns about the rise of any group of hate,” sd. “Whether it’s white supremacy, whether it’s any ind of supremacy, whether it’s Antifa, whether it’s any group of hate I’m very concerned about it and I’ll do something about it.”
    Hours before Biden’s speech and almost a thond away, Booer in also cast the violence of the past days in a more sweeping contet. Lie Biden would, the senator referenced the similities between the langu used by to describe and immigrants and the found in the manifesto of the alleged Teas iller.
    of anti-Latino, anti-immigrant hatred we witnessed this past weeend did not t with the hand that pulled the trigger,” Booer sd. “It did not begin when a single white supremacist got into his c to 10 hours to ill as many beings as he could.”
    Though he did not ad by name, Booer accused the and his allies of emboldening racists and inciting the El Paso attac.
    The alleged iller’s d fervor, he sd, had been “planted in fertile soil, because the contradictions that have shadowed this country since its founding remn a pt of our body politic. It was sowed by those who spoe the same the El Paso er did: wning of an ‘invasion.’ It was sowed by those who spoe of an ‘infestation,’ and ‘disgusting ,’ ‘rats and rodents,’ taling about ity-minority communities.”

    O’Roure stays at to fight

    While Booer and Biden purd their rems to specifically ad the recent violence, former Teas Rep. O’Roure, an El Paso native whose and campgn is still based in the , has clung tight to his frightened community, effectively leaving the stump to the way bac .
    O’Roure, whose 2018 Senate campgn became a national cause for following his viral defense of activist professional athes, has spoen over the past few days with a moral vigor and clity that seemed to have eluded him during a stagnant to-date ial bid.
    Ased by a reporter after a Sunday in El Paso if there was anything could do “to mae this any better,” O’Roure — emotional after a vigil for the victims and their families — shot bac in frustration.
    “What do you thin? You now the s–t he’s been saying. He’s been calling Meican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t now, lie, members of the press, what the f–?,” he sd. “You now, I — it’s these questions that you now the answers to. I mean, connect the dots about what he’s been doing in this country. He’s not tolerating racism, he’s promoting racism. He’s not tolerating violence, he’s inciting racism and violence in this country.”
    O’Roure’s might have drawn the initial attention, but his mess to the public ed the indignation of voters who gue that the for speculating over or trying to predict ’s — when it has become so pln to see — should be over.
    The Tean will not go to Iowa this weeend, as previously planned, and has not yet decided when he will return to the campgn trl. But lie the candidates, he has been firm in connecting the ’s to the bloody attac launched agnst his .
    “() is trying to intimidate this community, to mae us afrd of the border, of immigrants,” O’Roure told reporters in El Paso on Wednesday morning.
    Lie Biden, O’Roure during a morning memorial at El Dorado High , looed bac to the founding of the country — pointing to its aspirations and how, despite strides, “we have never fully lived up to that promise” — before turning to a defense of El Paso and simil .
    “We e one of the st , if not the st, in the United States of ,” O’Roure sd. “We must remind ourselves and tell the rest of the country that we e not despite the fact that we e of immigrants and asylum-seeers and refugees, people who came from the over to find a here in El Paso, Teas, but that very fact is what maes us strong and successful and and secure in the first place.”
    Later on, as made his way from , , where he visited shooting victims in the , to El Paso, O’Roure joined agnst the ial visit, which local ers lie Rep. Veronica Escob had advised against. In ’s last appeance in the , for a political rally, a supporter attacked a BBC reporter and the spread mising clms about the ’s ty.
    After speaing at a demonstration, O’Roure told CNN he planned to attend victims’ funerals and mae a trip to Ciu Juárez, Meico, where seven of the 22 victims lived, before continuing on with his national campgn. Later on, he gave a young, teful man who sd he was at the during the shooting his personal phone number, and a promise to help him in any way he could.

    A wee after fierce debates, Dems unite

    Only a couple wees ago, Booer and Biden were engd in a heated debate over the former ’s record on race. And during the debates last wee in Detroit, were at one an’s throats, somes wning the country that their rivals were unelectable, while spring over ce, and, in the case of , former Bac ’s record.
    But those guments have lgely evaporated from sight since the Saturday shooting in El Paso. , who has mostly stuc to his inflammatory rhetoric on Twitter, did for the what he could not for the country: inspired solidity.
    Candidates than Biden, Booer and O’Roure have mostly ept to their previous commitments, while flooding television and social media with increasingly pointed denunciations of and notes of solidity with the victims — and one an. California Sen. amala Hris’ campgn bought for the O’Roure staff in El Paso and Hris spoesman Ian Sams told CNN the campgn has rsed nely $100,000 for gun violence organizations since the .
    They also roundly condemned the White over a CNN report, published Wednesday afternoon, that the White had rebuffed a push by the Deptment of to prioritize domestic terror threats, lie those d by white supremacists.
    officials battled the White for more than a ye to get them to focus more on domestic ,” one senior source close to the administration told CNN. “The White wanted to focus only on the jihadist threat which, while , ignored the reality that racial supremacist violence was rising fast here at . They had ideological ers on.”
    Hris lined to the story on Twitter and said, “People e getting illed, and this is turning a eye to ’s national security threats.”
    The former prosecutor has, in the of the , repeated her promise to use the power of the presidency to implement strict measures within the first few months of her term.
    “Whether at a festival, place of worship, , movie theater, or , you should always be able to feel ,” Hris tweeted. “As , I’ll give 100 days to send gun ty legislation to my des. If they refuse to act, I’ll tae eecutive action to protect our communities.”
    The illings in El Paso have also brought added attention to former Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, the only Latino in the primy.
    Speaing to , Castro undersd the heightened intensity of the campgn and ed a im of ’s political maneuvering.
    “For a now to base his entire political strategy on turning the Latino community, and especially recent immigrants, into ‘the ,’ into the towd — it doesn’t be in this country, he doesn’t be as ,” Castro said. “And that’s one of the I now that I’m to replace him and I bet that a lot of people who e in this race feel the same way.”
    Outside of Teas, the gravity of the El Paso illings has emboldened to be more direct, and in the case of Sanders, more personal in how they describe their for .
    Sanders, who has repeatedly denounced as a “racist” and “enophobe” on the campgn trl this ye, also ept to his planned campgn stops — though he, lie s, will now attend a forum on in Iowa this weeend. But in a Medium post on Sunday, he too the unusual of tying the current situation to his own, pnful family .
    personally all too famili with the bbity that comes from hateful ,” Sanders wrote. “Most of my own father’s family was brutally ed at the hands of Hitler’s white supremacist regime. That regime came to power on a wave of violence and hatred agnst racial and religious minorities. We cannot allow that to grow here.”
      His fellow progressive, , issued a simil wning agnst what the campgns have almost uniformly described now as a wave of hate drawing strength underfoot from the White .
      “White supremacy is a domestic threat in the same way that foreign threatens our people. And it is the responsibility of the of the United States to help fight bac agnst that,” told CNN. “Not to win and nod and smile at it and it get stronger in this country.”

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