Trump’s rhetoric in final campaign sprint goes to new dark extremes

Over the weekend, Donald Trump's rhetoric hit a disturbing new low, arriving just weeks before the Iowa caucuses.

The leading contender in the GOP primary made alarming remarks, suggesting that migrants were "polluting the essence" of the US and even referenced Russian President Vladimir Putin's comments on the decay within American democracy.

Addressing a large crowd at a New Hampshire hockey rink on Saturday, the former president evoked comparisons to the rhetoric of Nazi Germany by stating that migrants, primarily from Africa, Asia, and South America, were "contaminating the vitality of our nation's essence."

President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign accused Trump of echoing Adolf Hitler's language, drawing parallels to passages from Hitler’s manifesto "Mein Kampf," where the dictator advocated for racial purity and decried the supposed contamination of German blood by Jews.

Watch: Trump echoes Hitler and MAGA hears it loud and clear

Trump had previously used this rhetoric in an interview with a conservative news outlet, and its resurgence at a recent rally suggests it might become a regular feature in his speeches. This follows his previous controversy for labeling his political rivals as "vermin," a term with anti-Semitic origins used in Nazi propaganda.

The chilling aspect lies not just in the initial utterance but in the repetition of these lines after their fascist connections are highlighted. Despite trailing Biden in some swing-state polls for a hypothetical rematch, Trump has a history of employing language that stirs racial prejudices and resonates with the right wing.

His recent repeated statements about wanting to be a "dictator" for a day to construct a border wall and curb immigration could be dismissed as a jest if not for their persistence.

At a rally in Reno, Nevada, Trump baselessly claimed that migrants primarily originate from prisons and mental institutions, and unfoundedly speculated about Chinese migrants potentially forming an invading force. He pledged to restructure the government to expel migrants, citing the Alien Enemies Act of 1798 and vowed to redirect the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration toward border operations.

Trump weaponizes alerts about himself to criticize adversaries.

Reframing cautions about him into rallying cries for his supporters is a classic move in Trump's playbook.

His use of the term "Fake News" came after Hillary Clinton warned about misinformation, coining it as "fake news." Trump adopted the term in a tweet the following day, eventually claiming credit for its creation due to its frequent use, including at recent events.

Likewise, he has repeatedly and falsely labeled the 2020 election result as a "big lie," appropriating it from warnings that his persistent claims of election fraud mirrored the tactic of Nazi propagandists. This phrase, also found in "Mein Kampf," reflects a sentiment held by a significant portion of Republicans and GOP supporters, as shown in a CNN poll from August where nearly 70% doubted the legitimacy of Biden's victory.

During a discussion with Christie, Tapper presented a video of Trump's remarks about migrants "poisoning the blood of the country."

"Christie condemned Trump's actions as 'disgusting,' citing the former president's dog-whistling tactics aimed at Americans grappling with economic stress and global conflicts, shifting blame onto those who are different."

However, Christie contended that Republicans might support Trump despite his controversial comments rather than because of them.

Recent CBS News/YouGov polls illustrate Trump's lead in the Republican primary race in both New Hampshire and Iowa. In New Hampshire, he holds 44% support among likely GOP primary voters, followed by Nikki Haley at 29%, Ron DeSantis at 11%, Christie at 10%, Vivek Ramaswamy at 5%, and Asa Hutchinson at 1%. In Iowa, Trump commands 58% support among likely Republican caucusgoers, trailed by DeSantis at 22%, Haley at 13%, Ramaswamy at 4%, Christie at 3%, and Hutchinson at less than 1%.

The CBS analysis reveals significant differences in views between potential electorates in each state. For instance, 57% of likely GOP primary voters in New Hampshire support abortion rights, contrasting with only 26% of likely GOP caucusgoers in Iowa. Additionally, nearly half of likely GOP caucusgoers in Iowa (48%) identify with the MAGA movement, while 33% of likely New Hampshire primary voters do so.

Trump's influence within the party dissuades most Republican candidates from openly confronting him.

During an interview with ABC News, Nikki Haley, endorsed by New Hampshire's anti-Trump Republican governor, praised Trump's presidency but noted that he must answer for his actions on January 6, 2021, in court. She emphasized the need to move away from such chaotic episodes, advocating for a different approach devoid of drama, vendettas, or complaints.

With a month remaining before the first Republican voices are heard in the electoral process, Haley aims to promote her contrasting approach, emphasizing a departure from the chaotic environment that Trump, quoting Putin, characterized as rotten in American politics.

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