President Donald Trump continues to face formidable criticism from Democrats who’ve assembled for the opportunity to take him on in the 2020 presidential race like former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke. This week at a town hall meeting in Iowa, he explicitly compared Trump’s rhetoric to that employed by Nazi Germany, slamming the controversial president for repeatedly singling out immigrants — undocumented or otherwise — for condemnation with little to nothing to go on but racism.
Explaining his take to reporters at the event, O’Rourke put forward:
‘Calling human beings an ‘infestation’ is something that we might have expected to hear in Nazi Germany. Describing immigrants who have a track record of committing violent crimes at a lower rate than native-born Americans as rapists and criminals, seeking to ban all Muslims, all people of one religion, what other country on the face of the planet does that kind of thing? Or in our human history? Or in the history of the Western world?.. You draw your own conclusions, but this is not something that I expected to hear a president of the United States of America ever say.’
O’Rourke also noted how Trump has taken to “putting kids in cages” and described white nationalist demonstrators as “very fine people” as support for his claim the current commander-in-chief has revived some of the darkest strands of modern history.
WATCH: Beto O’Rourke compares President Trump’s rhetoric and actions on immigration to rhetoric and actions he would expect to have heard during Nazi Germany’s Third Reich. pic.twitter.com/FhTv74eqCF
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 5, 2019
The caged kids were taken in as part of a Trump administration effort to discourage asylum seekers from coming to the United States via punitively separating immigrant families at the border, and although the family separations policy was overturned by a court, authorities under Trump have continued their harsh campaigns against immigrants. In a widely publicized example, immigrants in El Paso were recently confined to a chain link enclosure under a highway overpass.
Back in 2017, Trump infamously declared after violent rioting in Charlottesville, Virginia, sparked by white nationalists that there were “very fine people” on both sides.
Besides these specific examples — and the others O’Rourke offered, like Trump’s past assertion that Democrats want to allow undocumented immigrants to “infest” the United States — as the high-profile Congressman also noted, the president has maintained a continued foundation of lies for much of his agenda. He has claimed that undocumented immigrants pose a special criminal threat to the United States, although in reality, the rates at which they actually commit crimes are lower than crime rates among native-born Americans.
Confronted with this fact during a press conference announcing a national emergency declaration over the supposed crisis at the southern border, Trump claimed there’s some vast unreported criminal network among immigrants with literally nothing to go on but his racism.
Heading into 2020, O’Rourke feels it’s imperative for concerned observers to call out the president’s behavior, insisting this week in Iowa:
‘If we don’t call out racism, certainly at the highest levels of power, in this position of trust that the president enjoys, then we are going to continue to get its consequences.’
Whether O’Rourke will get to take that campaign to the White House remains to be seen. RealClearPolitics average of polls has him in fourth place in the field of declared and potential 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidates, behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris.
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