(CNSNews.com) – The Democratic Party “has become more radical, more dangerous, and more unhinged than at any point in the modern history of our country,” President Trump said on Tuesday night.
In a no-holds-barred speech in Orlando, Florida kicking off his re-election campaign, Trump lashed out at the Democratic Party, hitting it particularly hard on the issue of border security.
“No matter what label they use, a vote for any Democrat in 2020 is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction of the American dream,” he told the packed 20,000-seat Amway Center, where according to local media some supporters had been lining up since Monday morning.
“Our radical Democrat opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice and rage,” Trump declared. “They want to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it. Not acceptable, it’s not going to happen.”
In one stinging segment of the speech, Trump said nothing would make him happier than to be able to work with Democrats to rebuild U.S. infrastructure, bring down drug prices, and compete with other countries.
“There’s so many great things we could do right now in a bipartisan way. But they’ve been afflicted with an ideological sickness that protects foreign borders but refuses to protect our borders; that promotes jobs overseas but allows our factories to close; that promotes democracy abroad, but shreds our Constitution at home; that declares support for free speech and free thought, but relentlessly suppresses them both; and that constantly savages the heroes of American law enforcement. We don’t want that, we don’t want that.”
Immigration and border security was among the issues the president sought to emphasize most in the rally.
“On no issue are Democrats more extreme and more depraved than when it comes to border security,” he said. “The Democrat agenda of open borders is morally reprehensible. It’s the greatest betrayal of the American middle class – and frankly American life our country has as a whole.”
“Nobody seen anything like it. People are pouring in – but we’ve stopped them.”
Not one of the 24 Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls, he said, has come out publicly in support of the personnel of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol agencies.
“In the ultimate act of moral cowardice, not one Democrat candidate for president, not a single one, has stood up to defend the incredible men and women of ICE and Border Patrol – the job they do is incredible.”
There was not a lot of early Twitter reaction to Trump’s speech from Democratic presidential hopefuls, although Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) posted a video response to a speech which he summarized as “an hour-and-a-half speech of lies, distortions and total, absolute nonsense.”
Sanders listed issues which he said Trump had not mentioned, including climate change, “oppressive” student debt, and gun violence.
“When Trump talked about immigration, he talked about it in his usual racist way – and his racist way is his effort to try to divide us up.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), without referring directly to Trump’s comments in Orlando, tweeted afterwards: “Donald Trump’s treatment of those seeking a better life in our country is inhumane. Make no mistake: In a Warren administration, we will defend and protect immigrants and their families.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) tweeted: “Just a reminder: Donald Trump is a coward. He is a misogynist. He has torn apart the moral fabric of this country. And I believe his kryptonite is a strong woman who can’t be silenced.”
A number of the Democratic presidential candidates have called for ICE to be shut down or restructured, although most did so around the middle of last year, when then-congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and others were championing the anti-ICE campaign.
Sanders said he wants to “abolish the cruel, dysfunctional immigration system we have today,” a step which he said would mean “restructuring the agencies that enforce our immigration laws, including ICE.”
Warren called for “replacing ICE with something that reflects our values.”
“We need to abolish ICE, start over and build something that actually works,” tweeted Gillibrand.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) told MSNBC, “I think there’s no question that we’ve got to critically re-examine ICE and its role and the way that it is being administered and the work it is doing. And we need to probably think about starting from scratch, because there’s a lot that is wrong with the way that it is conducting itself.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also called for ICE to be shut down.
“I think Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is right,” he said. “We should abolish ICE. We should create something better.”