After four days of President Donald Trump attacking Baltimore, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar was the only presidential candidate to defend Maryland’s largest city by name during Tuesday night’s Democratic debate on CNN.
In response to a question from CNN’s Don Lemon about Trump’s “bigotry,” Klobuchar said the Republican’s insults against Baltimore were indefensible.
“I don’t think anyone can justify what this president is doing. Little kids literally woke up this weekend, turned on the TV, and saw their president calling their city, the town of Baltimore, nothing more than a home for rats,” Klobuchar said. “I can tell you as your president that will stop.”
Klobachar’s husband, John Bessler, is a professor at the University of Baltimore’s law school.
Earlier in the day, Trump alleged without evidence that billions of dollars in federal aid to Baltimore has been “wasted” and “stolen," renewing his dayslong criticism of the city and U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings. He has derided Cummings’ district as a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. "
Ten candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, gathered in Detroit for the debate.
On the topic of wrestling with the country’s racial divisions in the age of Trump, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas said he would call out Trump’s “racism.” Sanders said he will focus on rebuilding distressed communities in response to the legacy of “slavery, segregation and institutional racism.” Warren said she would "call out white supremacy for what it is: domestic terrorism.”
During his closing statement, former Maryland U.S. Rep. John Delaney invoked Baltimore as among the cities he would work to revitalize should he be elected.
“We can invest in not just technology, but people and entrepreneurs, whether they be in Storm Lake, Iowa; Detroit, Michigan; or Baltimore, Maryland,” Delaney said.
A second debate featuring 10 more candidates, including early front-runner former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris of California, takes place Wednesday night. The groupings were chosen at random.