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In a growing 2020 Democratic field, candidates are crisscrossing the nation to pitch themselves as capable of defeating President Trump. The resignation of Homeland Security Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen and Trump’s fiery rhetoric on asylum seekers gave them plenty to talk about in recent days. Lisa Desjardins reports on Democratic reactions, plus campaign updates from Tim Ryan and Pete Buttigieg.
It was another busy weekend on the campaign trail, with Democratic candidates crisscrossing the nation to pitch themselves as the one person who can beat President Trump.
Lisa Desjardins brings us up to speed.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT.:
We are going to bring the American people together:
In their effort to push back against President Trump, 2020 Democrats are trying out a simple message: All are welcome, including the newest entrant.
Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan kicked off his presidential bid in home district, also the working-class Rust Belt territory of Youngstown.
Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio:
A divided country is a weak country. And we have politicians and leaders in America today that want to divide us.
For Pete Buttigieg, the outreach was a challenge to discrimination. At an LGBTQ community event in Washington, D.C., he described coming out as gay while running for reelection as mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
I can tell you that, if me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade.
He also criticized Vice President Mike Pence for his opposition to same-sex rights.
And that's the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand, that if you have got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.
Meantime, President and candidate Trump is reaching out, too, to Jewish Americans. He touted his pro-Israel actions at the Republican Jewish coalition in Las Vegas Saturday.
But immigration, and the U.S. asylum laws, were also on the president's mind.
The asylum program is a scam, some of the roughest people you have ever seen.
Mr. Trump went on to imitate a hypothetical attorney seeking asylum for an immigrant at the southern border.
Asylum. Oh, give him asylum. He's afraid. He's afraid. We don't love the fact that he's got tattoos on his face. That's not a good sign. We don't love the fact that he's carrying the flag of Honduras or Guatemala or El Salvador, only to say he's petrified to be in his country.
That position, combined with the resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, has proven quick fodder for the Democratic hopefuls.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said Nielsen should be ashamed for separating families. One of the sharpest reactions came from former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who wrote that Trump wants to illegally end the asylum system.
The dispute at and over the border continues to rise in the fight for the White House itself.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Lisa Desjardins.
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