Trump rallying in Cincinnati hoping to capitalize on Democratic debates
(CNN) — President Donald Trump on Thursday seeks to get the last word on his would-be competition after two nights of Democrats facing off on the debate stage.
Trump, who has sought to brand all the Democratic candidates as socialists, will take the stage at a campaign rally in this battleground state eager to exploit the ideological fissures in the Democratic Party laid bare in the debates.
“The people on the stage tonight, and last, were not those that will either Make America Great Again or Keep America Great!” Trump tweeted soon after Wednesday night’s debate, referring to his two campaign slogans. “Our Country now is breaking records in almost every category, from Stock Market to Military to Unemployment. We have prosperity & success like never before.”
Trump campaign and Republican Party officials have already spent the last two days amplifying the Democratic candidates’ most progressive positions and magnifying attacks on frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, whom Trump and many of his advisers privately consider the biggest general election threat.
In a statement Wednesday night, the Trump campaign slammed Democrats for having “no original thoughts” and for advocating for “socialist stupidity — eliminating private insurance, decriminalizing border crossings, higher taxes, getting rid of fossil fuels.”
“Another win for President Trump,” the campaign’s press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.
The top issues that revealed the most division between the Democratic candidates — and the extent to which the party has moved to the left in recent years — were indeed on health care and immigration. On health care, candidates debated the merits of a fully government-run health insurance system vs. a public option that would preserve private insurance. And on immigration, some candidates advocated for decriminalizing illegal border crossings while others talked of creating a more compassionate system while still keeping laws against illegal immigration on the books.
After the debate, some political strategists argued that Democrats’ most progressive positions fed into Trump’s sweeping characterization that Democrats support “open borders” and want to eliminate private health care plans that some Americans would like to keep.
More moderate Democratic candidates who support universal health care but oppose an entirely government-run system that would eliminate private health insurance were accused of parroting Republican talking points. While Trump’s opposition to Obamacare sets him well apart from all of the Democratic presidential candidates, Trump and his team have already zeroed in on the most progressive Democrats’ proposals to move toward a “Medicare for All” system.
Trump will also address his supporters in the wake of his latest attacks on a Democratic lawmaker of color, after he spent several days attacking Rep. Elijah Cummings and criticizing his West Baltimore district as “rat and rodent infested” and a place where no human would want to live.
Some of the President’s aides have been uncomfortable with those attacks, but Trump has shown no signs of backing away from it.
The President’s last rally in North Carolina came after Trump leveled a racist broadside at a foursome of Democratic congresswomen of color known as “The Squad,” telling them to “go back” to the countries they came from even though three of them were born in the US. Trump supporters at that rally amplified the attack with chants of “Send her back!”