Jul 28, 2019

Julián Castro: Trump is the "biggest identity politician" of the last 50 years

2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday that President Trump's "racist" attacks on Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and other politicians of color are core to his strategy as the "biggest identity politician that we have seen in the last 50 years."

"There's a pattern here. This guy is the biggest identity politician that we have seen in the last 50 years. He engages in what's known as 'racial priming.' Basically, using this language and taking actions to try and get people to move into their camps by racial and ethnic identity. That's how he thinks he won in 2016, and that's how he thinks he's going to win in 2020. I don't think it's a coincidence that just a few weeks ago he kicked off his 2020 campaign, and here we are with the same playbook that he used in 2016."

Why it matters: Liberals' reliance on "identity politics," or the tendency for people of particular racial, ethnic or social backgrounds to "form exclusive political alliances, moving away from traditional broad-based party politics," is frequently attacked by conservatives, especially through the lens of "political correctness." But as Axios has previously reported, those close to Trump say his race-baiting is premeditated and central to his 2020 strategy.

Go deeper: More on Trump's race-baiting calculations

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2020 Democratic candidates denounce Trump for racism ahead of debates

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

As Democrats prepare for a second round of presidential primary debates in Detroit starting Tuesday night, one issue is dominating the political discourse: President Trump and racism.

Why it matters: Aides told Axios' Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen following Trump's "go back" tweets attacking 4 congresswomen of color that race-baiting is central to his 2020 strategy. He has since expanded targets to include Rep. Elijah Cummings, calling the majority-black Baltimore-area district he represents "a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess," and Rev. Al Sharpton.

Go deeperArrowJul 30, 2019

Warren: Trump's tweets on Baltimore and Cummings are ugly and racist

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told reporters Saturday that President Trump's tweets about Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and the Baltimore-area district he represents are "ugly and racist."

The big picture: Trump doubled down on his earlier attacks on Cummings and the majority-black Baltimore-area district — which he called a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess" — retweeting fellow Republicans, who said "[t]his has nothing to do with race." Warren told Fox News that Trump's tweets were "part of his overall pattern of trying to stir up as much hatred and dissension in America as possible."

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Keep ReadingArrowJul 28, 2019

Trump plants racial explosives in the urban-rural divide

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump's onslaught of disparaging tweets calling Baltimore a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess" — and characterizing Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings as failing to fix it — extends Trump's streak of vilifying big American cities and adds a racial spin that scores points with parts of his base.

The big picture: Cities, particularly coastal ones, are Democratic strongholds that have been protesting Trump policies like immigration and health care since day one of his administration.

Go deeperArrowJul 29, 2019