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The Detroit Trump diss track: Debating Democrats blister the president

Trump campaign responds that Democrats showed ‘plenty of socialist stupidity’

Democratic presidential candidates (L-R) Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), former housing secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) , former tech executive Andrew Yang, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio at the Democratic Presidential Debate Wednesday in Detroit (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

From “authoritarian” and “predator” to “socialist” and “white nationalist” — with a whole lot of “racist” thrown in — the leading Democratic presidential candidates debating in Detroit this week lobbed dozens of rhetorical bombs at President Donald Trump as they battled for the nomination to take him on next November.

Trump did not seem impressed by the Democrats’ attempts to paint him as morally and Constitutionally corrupt during debates fearing 10 candidates each on Tuesday and Wednesday. He tweeted during the second debate that the “people on the stage tonight, and last, were not those that will either Make America Great Again or Keep America Great.”

While the president did not single out any candidate or deploy his well-worn tactic of name-calling, his campaign released statements Thursday condemning Democrats for “bickering over big government socialism” and advocating “dangerous” policy proposals.

[CQ Roll Call debate coverage from Tuesday and Wednesday]

“Plenty of socialist stupidity — eliminating private insurance, decriminalizing border crossings, higher taxes, getting rid of fossil fuels,” Trump campaign national press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. “Goodbye Pennsylvania. Goodbye auto industry. Goodbye Midwest. Another win for President Trump.”

The Democrats’ blistering attacks came during policy arguments on health care, immigration reform, foreign policy, and women’s pay. Here’s some of the most scathing quotes:.

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet:

  • “For the last three years, we have been consumed by a President who frankly doesn’t give a damn about your kids or mine. ... They deserve something better than a bully in the White House.”
  • “The President’s racist rhetoric should be enough grounds for everybody in this country to vote him out of office. That one thing alone should be enough.”

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard:

  • “I know what patriotism is and I’ve known many great patriots throughout my life. And let me tell you this, Donald Trump is not behaving like a patriot.”
  • “To me, to my fellow service members, we were all lied to, told that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction ... This current president is continuing to betray us. We are supposed to be going after al-Qaida. But over years now, not only have we not gone after al-Qaida, who is stronger today than they were in 9/11. Our president is supporting al-Qaida.”

Businessman Andrew Yang:

  • “We need to do the opposite of much of what we are doing right now, and the opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math.”

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker:

  • “Donald Trump ... is using the tired old language of demigods, of fear mongers, of racists to try to divide our country against itself.”
  • “I will not do foreign policy by tweet as Donald Trump seems to do all of the time. A guy that literally tweets out that we are pulling our troops out before his generals even know ... is creating a dangerous situation for our troops in places like Afghanistan.”
  • “We have a president that is not acting like a leader of the free world. He is acting like an authoritarian against the actual Constitution.”

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee:

  • “No. 1, we can no longer allow a white nationalist to be in the White House.”

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro:

  • “First of all, the president is a racist, and [Trump’s tweets about Baltimore and Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings] was just one more example of it.”

California Sen. Kamala Harris:

  • “We currently have a president in the White House who obviously does not understand the science. He’s been pushing science fiction instead.”
  • “I’ve seen people go to prison — go to prison for far less. We have a person in the White House right now who has been shielded by a memo in the United States Department of Justice [that] says the sitting president cannot be indicted.”
  • “Donald Trump has predatory nature and predatory instincts. And the thing about predators is this: By their very nature, they prey on people they perceive to be weak. They prey on people they perceive to be vulnerable. They prey on people who are in need of help, often desperate for help. And predators are cowards.”

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:

  • “The first thing that I’m going to do when I’m president is I’m going to Clorox the Oval Office.”
  • “Donald Trump has really torn apart the moral fabric of this country, dividing us on every racial line, every religious line, every socioeconomic line he can find.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio:

  • “It’s obvious at this point in our history that the president has committed the crimes worthy of impeachment.”
  • “Here’s what I’ll say to him: Donald, you are the real socialist. The problem is, it’s socialism for the rich.”

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren:

  • “Donald Trump is part of a corrupt, rigged system that has helped the wealthy and the well-connected and kicked dirt in the faces of everyone else.”
  • “We live in a country now where the president is advancing environmental racism, economic racism, criminal justice racism, healthcare racism.”

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders:

  • “We have got to take on Trump’s racism, his sexism, xenophobia and come together in an unprecedented grassroots movement to not only defeat Trump, but to transform our economy and our government.”
  • “Trump is a pathological liar. I tell the truth.”

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

  • “You know, the word ‘malpractice’ — this is interesting I always thought of this as doctors or lawyers. Donald Trump is malpractice personified.”

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke

  • “We will call his racism out for what it is and also talk about its consequences. ...  It is...changing this country. Hate crimes are on the rise every single one of the last three years.”
  • “We are as divided and polarized as a country as we have ever been. And right now, we have a president who uses fear to try to drive us further apart.”

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar

  • “I don’t think anyone can justify what this president is doing. Little kids literally woke up this weekend, turned on the TV and saw their president calling their city, the town of Baltimore, nothing more than a home for rats.”
  • “We have the President where people turn off their TV when they see him. Not me. I will make you proud as your president.”

Author Marianne Williamson

  • “The racism, the bigotry and the entire conversation that we’re having here tonight, if you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days.”

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg

  • “Nominate me and you get to see the President of the United States stand next to an American war veteran and explain why he chose to pretend to be disabled when it was his chance to serve.”
  • “When [former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard] David Duke ran for Congress, ran for governor, the Republican Party 20 years ago ran away from him. Today, they are supporting naked racism in the White House or are, at best, silent about it.”

Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney

  • “Donald Trump is the symptom of a disease and the disease is divisiveness.”

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