Clinton raps Trump, Republicans as other Dems make case
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took swipes Friday at Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and his rivals who have lost ground to the mogul.
But while other Democratic White House hopefuls also targeted Trump, one calling the bombastic billionaire a “hate-spewing carnival barker,” they told influential Democratic National Committee (DNC) members that it was vital not to treat the nomination process as a mere coronation of frontrunner Clinton.
Democratic candidates addressed a DNC summer meeting in Minneapolis that comes amid rising discomfort over Clinton’s handling of the fallout from her using a private email account and server while secretary of state.
Speculation over whether Vice President Joe Biden might join the race also loomed over the meeting.
Clinton trained her fire on Trump and the Republicans who have been overtaken by the real estate tycoon’s caustic politics.
“Today the party of (Abraham) Lincoln has become the party of Trump,” Clinton said, referring to the revered Civil War-era president.
Trump has surged to the top of the crowded Republican field, besting rivals including former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
While Bush has clashed with Trump over immigration, some candidates like Walker and Senator Ted Cruz have aligned with Trump on key immigration planks.
“If you look at everyone else’s policies, they’re pretty much the same,” Clinton said. “They’re Trump without the pizazz — or the hair.”
Martin O’Malley, the former Maryland governor who trails Clinton badly in polls, also joined in the Trump takedown.
“Let their party be led by a hate-spewing carnival barker,” O’Malley said.
“Our party must be led by compassion, by generosity, by the love and concern for one another.”
But O’Malley also hit hard against the DNC, and its announcement that it has scheduled just six Democratic debates — and only four before the first primary votes in Iowa.
“How does this help us make our case to the American people?” O’Malley asked.
Republicans “malign our president’s record of achievement, they denigrate women and immigrant families. They double down on trickle down and tell their false story,” O’Malley said.
“And we respond with crickets. Tumbleweeds. A cynical move to delay and limit our own party debates,” he went on, describing it as a “rigged” process.
O’Malley did not mention Clinton by name.
Criticism has swirled over the Democrats’ abbreviated and delayed schedule, in which the first debate is set for October 13, more than two months after the first Republican debate.
Republicans are hosting nine debates, including a raucous August 6 opener watched by 24 million viewers, a primary season record.
Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, who has drawn huge crowds on his quest for the Democratic nomination, strongly signaled Democrats should not merely agree on Clinton, a former first lady, and be done with it.
“The same old same old will not work,” Sanders told the DNC.
“We need a movement which takes on the economic and political establishment, not one which is part of that establishment.”