Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) jumped into the presidential primary fray on the Senate floor yesterday, arguing that “there is no daylight between Donald Trump and the rest of the Republican field.”
“This past weekend, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump did what he does best – he said something dishonest and distasteful. In speaking about the senior Senator from Arizona, Trump mocked Senator John McCain’s service during the Vietnam War,” Reid said, reflecting upon his long relationship with McCain and stressing that the former POW is a war hero.
“In the aftermath of those despicable remarks about Senator McCain, Republicans have been falling over themselves to criticize Donald Trump. But it makes me wonder: where were all of these same Republicans when Mr. Trump slandered millions of immigrants?” he continued.
“It was only a month ago that Trump said – quote: ‘When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.’ When Trump insulted a senator from their own party, Republicans couldn’t denounce him fast enough. But when Donald Trump called immigrants ‘rapists’ there was nothing but silence.”
Still, Reid saw “an ugly truth behind that silence, and it is this: when it comes to immigration policy, there is no meaningful difference between the Republican Party and Donald Trump.”
He proceeded to slam the views of Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Chris Christie. “When it comes to immigration policy, there is no daylight between Donald Trump and the rest of the Republican field,” Reid said. “So while the rest of the Republican presidential hopefuls may not engage in the same repugnant rhetoric, make no mistake about it – they are all on the same page with Donald Trump.”
“I ask each Republican running for President: name one difference between your immigration policy and Trump’s immigration policy. Given recent history, all I expect is a deafening silence.”
Reid added that “when Mr. Trump insulted Senator McCain, Republicans couldn’t denounce him fast enough.”
“But when Mr. Trump called millions of hard-working immigrants ‘rapists’ and ‘murderers,’ there was nothing but silence. Maybe this is because none of the Republicans running for president can name a single way in which they disagree with Mr. Trump’s policies on immigration,” he said. “In the meantime, Democrats will continue to fight to pass comprehensive immigration reform, just as we did in 2013. We will continue to fight Republican piecemeal legislation that criminalizes immigrant communities. And we will continue to fight for immigrant families who are constantly being scapegoated by today’s Republican Party.”