Top Democrats, including 2020's Joe Biden, accused Donald Trump of being a white nationalist as part of a growing chorus of condemnation following the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas aimed at Hispanics.
Biden, who has consistently led in recent polls, spoke about the president's actions along with other Democrats at a fundraising dinner on Friday night in the state of Iowa when he said, “Let's call it that. This is white nationalism, this is white supremacy. ”
Another candidate, Pete Buttigeig, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, also accused Trump at the same event of "coagulating white nationalism."
The latest comments come after Trump was condemned for his racist rhetoric, especially on the issue of immigration, which many observers associated with the rise of white nationalist attacks.
The suspect in the El Paso mass shooting explicitly confessed to police that he was attacking “Mexicans,” officials said, confirming that the crime - believed to be the most violent attack on Latinos in the United States in recent history - was motivated by racism. In an online manifesto allegedly posted by the gunman shortly before the attack, the attacker said he feared a Hispanic takeover of Texas.
Other Democratic candidates had previously condemned Trump for white nationalism, including former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Democrats focused particularly on Trump's use of language around immigration, where he called immigrant “rapists” and “criminals” and accused them of launching a “US invasion”. This language was repeated in some of the words used by the El Paso shooter.
Biden and Buttigeig were speaking at the Wing Ding dinner in Iowa, as a low-key chicken wing fundraiser raised money for Democratic candidates and nearby county parties. It is now an event that has grown in stature in the state that begins the primary presidential elections and this year's tone was one of total attack on Trump.
Buttigeig scoffed at Trump's television background, saying he wasn't sure if his current occupant had turned the White House into a "reality show" or a "horror show."
"What we are going to do is take the remote control and change channels," Buttigeig, the youngest presidential candidate, proclaimed to sustain applause.
Candidates at dinner overlapped with messages about how Trump had spread hatred and fear across the country. But some also offered stern warnings that defeating Trump on 2020 will be difficult.
Sanders said Trump will win unless Democrats have an argument that "speaks of the pain and reality of working families in this country."
Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper noted that Trump's approval rating was about 42%, slightly lower than former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, before winning reelection. He also said that neither Reagan nor Obama had "an economy as strong as today."
Hickenlooper said Democrats need to look at the country's history to beat Trump and attack numerous White House senators, saying no senator has ever beaten an incumbent president, only former governors because they were closer to his constituents. .
Some of the loudest applause came from Warren, who adapted his message to her rural environment, saying that she would defend small farmers against “big” interests.
“The tweet trade war is not working for our farmers,” she said of Trump using Twitter to announce tariffs on China, which has hurt international markets. “I promise you, when you are president, when negotiating a trade deal, there will be independent producers at the table.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar scoffed at the parade of candidates taking the stage and forcing everyone to keep their speeches short: “Last time I had 20 minutes, and this time I have 20 candidates.”
Some of the candidates who spent more than five minutes including the last speaker of the night, Biden, were subjected to musical clues trying to interpret them offstage, as did the Oscars.