President Donald Trump asked on Monday why presidential candidate Bernie Sanders shouldn’t be called a racist for likening the poverty he observed in West Baltimore in 2015 to a “Third World” country.
“Crazy Bernie Sanders recently equated the City of Baltimore to a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY!” the president tweeted Monday morning, the third straight day of posts about the city and criticism of Democratic U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings.
“Based on that statement, I assume that Bernie must now be labeled a Racist, just as a Republican would if he used that term and standard! The fact is, Baltimore can be brought back, maybe,” the tweet said.
The Democratic Sanders fired back Monday, suggesting his statements amounted to an observation about poverty rather than criticism of the city’s people.
“Trump's lies and racism never end,” Sanders tweeted. “While I have been fighting to lift the people of Baltimore and elsewhere out of poverty with good paying jobs, housing and health care, he has been attacking workers and the poor.”
Sanders was a presidential candidate in 2015 – as he is again now – when he toured the West Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested.
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“Anyone who took the walk that we took around this neighborhood would not think you’re in a wealthy nation,” Sanders told reporters later at the Freddie Gray Empowerment Center in Bolton Hill. "You would think that you were in a Third World country.
Gray, 25, died in April 2015 after suffering a severe spinal cord injury in police custody. The protests that followed drew international attention. On the day he was buried, the city erupted in arson, looting and riots.
Cummings’ office said Monday that the congressman was unavailable for comment and that he has not weighed in publicly since tweeting Saturday about fighting for his district and the need for lower pharmaceutical drug prices.
“Baltimore, under the leadership of Elijah Cummings, has the worst Crime Statistics in the Nation. 25 years of all talk, no action!” Trump tweeted. “If the Democrats are going to defend the Radical Left “Squad” and King Elijah’s Baltimore Fail, it will be a long road to 2020. The good news for the Dems is that they have the Fake News Media in their pocket!”