Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden on Wednesday directly linked President Donald Trump to Saturday’s mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, accusing him of having “fanned the flames of white supremacy.”
“How far is it from Trump’s saying this ‘is an invasion’ to the shooter in El Paso declaring, ‘This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas?’” the former vice president asked.
Biden’s speech, delivered at a campaign rally in Burlington, Iowa, coincided with the president’s visit to El Paso to meet with first responders and shooting survivors. On Monday, Trump denounced white supremacy, saying, “Hate has no place in America.”
According to a Quinnipiac poll, Biden leads the crowded Democratic field with 32 percent of potential Democratic primary voters picking him. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts got a boost after the second round of Democratic debates and is now polling at 21 percent. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont received 14 percent of the support from would-be voters, and Sen. Kamala Harris of California got 7 percent.
Mike Gravel, an anti-war activist and former U.S. senator from Alaska, dropped out of the Democratic race Tuesday. In a video announcing his decision, he endorsed Sanders. Gravel previously said his campaign’s only goal was to make it to the debate stage and criticize American involvement in overseas conflict. He never met the qualifications for the debates.
Many candidates have flocked to Iowa to win support during the state fair that started Thursday. According to this year’s schedule, 20 candidates will speak. Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas decided to forgo campaigning in Iowa to remain in El Paso after the mass shooting there. —H.P.