Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) slammed Republicans Wednesday as a party of “hatred and division.”
“Over and over again, Republican candidates have resorted to hatred instead of appealing to the highest sensibilities of the American people,” Reid said on the Senate floor.
“We all know that on race and other controversial issues, Republicans have long practiced subtle bigotry,” he continued. “But Republicans now simply say out loud the many things at which they used to merely hint.”
Reid chastised Republican presidential candidates in particular for what he described as “hateful, dangerous rhetoric,” singling out Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Jeb Bush, as well as “the junior Senator from Texas” Ted Cruz, and “the junior Senator from Florida” Marco Rubio.
As examples, the Nevada lawmaker pointed to Trump’s comment that a Black Lives Matter member “maybe should have been roughed up” for his behavior, Cruz’s assertion that “the overwhelming majority of violent criminals are Democrats,” Carson’s description of Syrian refugees as “rabid dogs,” Bush’s use of the term “anchor babies,” and Mike Huckabee’s analogy of Syrian refugees to a bag of peanuts with some poisonous ones.
“The Republican Party used to claim to stand for religious freedom, but they’re now just pretending. Ben Carson doesn’t think Muslims should be allowed to become President,” Reid said. “The junior Senator from Florida, also a Republican presidential candidate, speaks of a ‘clash of civilizations.’ Those are buzzwords meaning a crusade against Islam. He’s saying that ISIS extremists are representative of an entire religion.”
Reid further took issue with Republican rhetoric and positions on immigration, saying “Republicans only talk about deporting families.”
“The Republican Party wants to paint all immigrants as murderers and rapists. Congressman Steve King says all immigrants are drug traffickers,” he said.
According to Reid, Republican candidates are running on a “platform of hate.”
“Every Republican who fails to speak out against the hateful, dangerous rhetoric being spewed by their party is complicit,” he said. “For the moral character of our nation we must demand that Republicans return to the values on which our country was founded.”