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Harris says people have 'rightly' compared Trump's remarks on immigrants to Hitler

Though President Joe Biden hasn’t spoken publicly himself about Trump’s comments, the 2024 Biden-Harris campaign released a statement about them on Saturday.
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WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris said Tuesday that people have "rightly" compared former President Donald Trump's latest comments about immigrants "poisoning the blood" of America to Adolf Hitler.

"It is language that is meant to divide us. It is language that I think people have rightly found similar to the language of Hitler," Harris said in an interview with MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell that aired Tuesday night.

Harris added, "I think it’s just critically important that we remind each other, including our children, that the true measure of the strength of a leader is based not on who they beat down, but who they lift up."

The vice president said the real character of a leader is “someone who has empathy, who has some level of concern and care for the suffering of other people and then does something to alleviate that suffering.”

At a rally in New Hampshire Saturday, Trump railed against immigrants coming into the U.S. “They let — I think the real number is 15, 16 million people into our country. When they do that, we got a lot of work to do. They’re poisoning the blood of our country...That’s what they’ve done. They poison mental institutions and prisons all over the world, not just in South America, not just to three or four countries that we think about, but all over the world. They’re coming into our country from Africa, from Asia, all over the world."

The former president doubled down on the remark at a campaign event in Waterloo, Iowa, on Tuesday night. Referring to illegal border crossings, Trump repeatedly said, “They are destroying the blood of our country.”

Asked what her mother, an immigrant from India, would have said in reaction to Trump’s earlier remarks if she were still alive, Harris said, “My mother could use very salty language sometimes. So I’m not going to tell you exactly what I think she might say,” she said with a chuckle.

“There’s no question in my mind that her response to that kind of language would be probably, she also was a student of history. We’ve seen this before. We know where this could go. So stand up and fight for what is right,” she said.

Though President Joe Biden hasn't spoken publicly himself about Trump's comments, the 2024 Biden-Harris campaign released a statement about them on Saturday.

"Donald Trump channeled his role models as he parroted Adolf Hitler, praised Kim Jong Un, and quoted Vladimir Putin while running for president on a promise to rule as a dictator and threaten American democracy. Trump is not shying away from his plan to lock up millions of people into detention camps and continues to lie about that time when Joe Biden obliterated him by over 7 million votes three years ago,” campaign spokesperson Ammar Moussa said.

Hitler used the term “blood poisoning” in his manifesto “Mein Kampf,” in which he criticized immigration and the mixing of races. “All great cultures of the past perished only because the originally creative race died out from blood poisoning,” Hitler wrote.

Trump has used the term before, including in early October during an interview with a right-leaning website, The National Pulse.

“Nobody has any idea where these people are coming from, and we know they come from prisons. We know they come from mental institutions and insane asylums. We know they’re terrorists. Nobody has ever seen anything like we’re witnessing right now," he said about immigrants. "It is a very sad thing for our country. It’s poisoning the blood of our country. It’s so bad, and people are coming in with disease. People are coming in with every possible thing that you could have.”