On Thursday, Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro described President Donald Trump as a “grade-A idiot,” The Hill reports.
Castro’s comments were in reference to a disturbing moment which unfolded yesterday during President Trump’s rally in Panama Beach City, Florida. During the rally, Trump discussed a number of what he perceives are pressing issues, focusing on immigration. Trump, who campaigned in 2016 as an immigration hardliner and continues to govern as one, talked to the audience about what he claims is immigration officials’ inability to stop immigrants from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
“But how do you stop these people? You can’t,” the president said, at which point someone from the audience shouted: “Shoot them!”
This prompted cheers from the crowd, as President Trump shook his head and smiled.
“That’s only in the Panhandle you can get away with that statement. Only in the Panhandle,” he said.
Because of this, President Trump is a “grade A-idiot,” according to Democrat Julian Castro, who described the president’s handling of the situation as “unbecoming” of “anybody in public office.”
“We’ve seen so many white supremacists go out there and say that they’re inspired by President Trump and shoot people and so he’s being a grade-A idiot to continue to foster the flames of divisions like that.”
To those familiar with Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric, the disturbing moment at the Panama Beach rally comes as no surprise. It is, in fact, congruent with his prior rhetoric. As Vox pointed out, Trump has repeatedly — beginning on June 16, 2015, when he officially launched his presidential campaign — demonized immigrants, describing them as “rapists,” and “savage killers.”
“These are animals. They cut people. They cut them. They cut them up in little pieces and they want them to suffer,” Trump said during a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, while criticizing American immigration laws.
We're not going to beat Donald Trump by trying to be Donald Trump. You're never going to outgutter Donald Trump. What we need is a compelling, strong vision for the future that connects with families.— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) May 9, 2019
WATCH: full interview with @IAmAmnaNawaz @NewsHour https://t.co/jC2GKFf1ib
It also comes as no surprise that Julian Castro is taking serious issue with Trump’s comments given that the former San Antonio, Texas, mayor’s immigration plan has been described by Business Insider as “the most detailed” of any Democratic contender.
Castro’s immigration policy is an antithesis to Trump’s — the Democrat calls to reverse the Trump administration’s Muslim ban, increase limits on asylum recipients, split ICE in two, and provide pathways to citizenship to more than 10 million undocumented workers living in the United States.
As Business Insider notes, Castro also wants to dramatically increase aid to Central America, and staunchly opposes Trump’s border wall. Furthermore, according to the Democrat, the only way the United States can truly help Central American countries is by helping “stabilize” their economies.