Donald Trump attacked the city of Baltimore in a repulsive tweetstorm this weekend — but The Baltimore Sun got the last laugh with a stunning, no-holds-barred rebuke of the president’s insults in an endlessly quotable op-ed published Sunday.
Trump began his Twitter outburst early Saturday morning in large response to Rep. Elijah Cummings’ ongoing condemnation of the administration’s racist immigration policy and the poor conditions at detention camps along the U.S.-Mexico border. Cummings has represented Maryland’s 7th congressional district, which includes Baltimore, since 1996.
Rep, Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2019
....As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2019
Why is so much money sent to the Elijah Cummings district when it is considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States. No human being would want to live there. Where is all this money going? How much is stolen? Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2019
“It’s not hard to see what’s going on here,” the newspaper’s editorial board wrote in its assessment of Trump’s tweets.
“The congressman has been a thorn in this president’s side, and Mr. Trump sees attacking African American members of Congress as good politics, as it both warms the cockles of the white supremacists who love him and causes so many of the thoughtful people who don’t to scream.”
The Sun also highlighted Trump’s continued use of racist language to criticize political opponents of color, just weeks after he called for four minority congresswomen — three of whom were born here and all of whom are U.S. citizens — to “go back” to their countries of origin.
“He was returning to an old standby of attacking an African American lawmaker from a majority black district on the most emotional and bigoted of arguments,” the op-ed continued.
“It was only surprising that there wasn’t room for a few classic phrases like ‘you people’ or ‘welfare queens’ or ‘crime-ridden ghettos’ or a suggestion that the congressman ‘go back’ to where he came from.”
The op-ed, cleverly titled “Better to have a few rats than to be one,” was widely praised on social media, and “Baltimore Sun” quickly began trending on Twitter.
The Baltimore Sun has published since 1837. This is how to write an editorial. https://t.co/U8SbMQkW6O— Mike Carlton (@MikeCarlton01) July 28, 2019
Unsurprisingly, Trump doubled down on his attacks throughout the weekend, later calling Cummings’ district “very poor, very dangerous and very badly run.”
Elijah Cummings spends all of his time trying to hurt innocent people through “Oversight.” He does NOTHING for his very poor, very dangerous and very badly run district! Take a look.... #BlacksForTrump2020 https://t.co/seNVESZUht— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2019
So sad that Elijah Cummings has been able to do so little for the people of Baltimore. Statistically, Baltimore ranks last in almost every major category. Cummings has done nothing but milk Baltimore dry, but the public is getting wise to the bad job that he is doing!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2019
The president also claimed Democrats were “playing the race card” in their denunciation of his comments.
Someone please explain to Nancy Pelosi, who was recently called racist by those in her own party, that there is nothing wrong with bringing out the very obvious fact that Congressman Elijah Cummings has done a very poor job for his district and the City of Baltimore. Just take...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2019
....a look, the facts speak far louder than words! The Democrats always play the Race Card, when in fact they have done so little for our Nation’s great African American people. Now, lowest unemployment in U.S. history, and only getting better. Elijah Cummings has failed badly!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2019
Like his hometown paper, Cummings didn’t take Trump’s character assassination or denigration of his district lying down — although he also asked the president to work together on various issues, including “the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs … across the nation, and in Baltimore.”
Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors.— Elijah E. Cummings (@RepCummings) July 27, 2019
It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.
Just yesterday, I held a hearing on the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs and the financial hardships that families across the nation, and in Baltimore, are facing.— Elijah E. Cummings (@RepCummings) July 27, 2019
Mr. President, we can address this together. Two years ago, I went to the White House to ask you to endorse my bill to let the government negotiate directly for lower drug prices.— Elijah E. Cummings (@RepCummings) July 27, 2019
You told me then that you supported the legislation and that you would work with me to make it happen. I took you at your word.https://t.co/bcfyQgXwm4— Elijah E. Cummings (@RepCummings) July 27, 2019
We applaud Cummings’ dignified response to the most undignified president in U.S. history. But we also embrace The Sun’s willingness to call a spade a spade:
“Finally, while we would not sink to name-calling in the Trumpian manner … we would tell the most dishonest man to ever occupy the Oval Office, the mocker of war heroes, the gleeful grabber of women’s private parts, the serial bankrupter of businesses, the useful idiot of Vladimir Putin and the guy who insisted there are ‘good people’ among murderous neo-Nazis that he’s still not fooling most Americans into believing he’s even slightly competent in his current post. Or that he possesses a scintilla of integrity.”
“Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.”
Well done, The Baltimore Sun. We’re with you.