President Trump drew the ire of potential 2020 rivals Saturday for ranting on Twitter about Baltimore and Rep. Elijah Cummings, Maryland Democrat.
White House hopefuls slammed Mr. Trump over a series of tweets that called Mr. Cummings a “brutal bully” who represents the country’s “worst” congressional district.
Joseph R. Biden, the current Democratic frontrunner and former President Barack Obama’s running mate, defended Mr. Cummings as “one of the finest” and said it was “despicable” that Mr. Trump attacked the congressman and his constituents.
“Once again you have proved yourself unfit to hold the office. A President is supposed to lift this nation up. Not tear it down,” Mr. Biden said on Twitter.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California said it was “disgraceful” that Mr. Trump began his day by disparaging Baltimore, while Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio described the president’s behavior across the board as “shameful.”
Multiple candidates, including Sen. Cory Booker of New York, former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke and Mr. Ryan, shared the same video on social media of CNN anchor Victor Blackwell, a Baltimore native, emotionally responding to Mr. Trump’s rant.
“This is painful. This is a moral, defining moment in America,” reacted Mr. Booker. “We must now answer. Silence is toxic complicity.”
“In his words and in his actions, Trump has been the most openly racist president we’ve had in modern history,” said Mr. O’Rourke. “He is trying to change the very character of America. But we won’t let him. We are so much better than this intolerance and hatred—and together, we’re going to prove it.”
Mr. Trump tweeted three times in 10 minutes Saturday morning targeting both Baltimore and Mr. Cummings, a Baltimore native who has represented Maryland’s 7th District in Congress since 1996, in light of the lawmaker recently complaining about the administration’s operation of migrant detent camps near the southern border.
“Cumming [sic] District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “No human being would want to live there. Where is all this money going? How much is stolen? Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!”
Mr. Cummings responded by urging Mr. Trump to endorse legislation that would result in lower prescription drug prices and alleviate financial hardships faced by residents in his district and others.
“It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents,” Mr. Cummings tweeted.
Bernard C. Jack Young, the mayor of Baltimore, reacted to the tweets by calling Mr. Trump’ “a disappointment to the people of Baltimore, our country and to the world,” meanwhile.