Trump’s campaign team watching the debate
Michael Collins and Jeanine Santucci
Published 10:13 PM EDT Sep 12, 2019
President Donald Trump may not be watching the Democratic presidential debate, but his people are.
While Trump wraps up his trip to speak at a House Republicans retreat in Baltimore, the Trump campaign’s rapid response team is firing off emails to reporters in defense of his record as Democrats go after him from the stage.
“President Trump is addressing gun safety while defending the 2nd Amendment,” read one message sent just minutes after Democrats slammed Trump failing to take on the issue of gun violence.
California Sen. Kamala Harris came after Trump hard, saying the president is culpable for recent mass shootings.
“Obviously he did’t pull the trigger, but he certainly tweeted the ammunition,” Harris said on the debate stage.
Trump has been accused by Democrats of stoking racial tensions that have led to shootings motivated by racism. Presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke said on stage that Trump’s rhetoric about immigrants played a role in the El Paso shooting last month. The shooter, he said, was “inspired to kill by our president.”
South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg called Trump’s policies on immigration racist as well. “Anyone who supports this is supporting racism,” he said.
“Thanks to President Trump, black Americans are making historic progress and enjoying growing opportunities,” read another rebuttal when Democrats accused him of promoting racism.
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“President Trump is fighting to bring down prescription drug prices for working families,” said another message when Democrats blasted Trump for trying to undo the Affordable Care Act.
Harris brought Trump into the health care conversation: “At least five people have talked… and not once have we talked about Donald Trump. So let’s talk about the fact that Donald Trump came into office and spent almost the entire first year of his term trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act.”
She gave a nod to the late Arizona Sen. John McCain, whose 2017 vote not to overturn Obamacare was a break from the Republican Party.
“We all fought against that, and then the late, great John McCain at about 2 in the morning killed his attempt to kill health care for millions of people in this country,” Harris said.