Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders once compared West Baltimore to a “third world country,” a statement that is gaining new traction after critics accused President Donald Trump of racism for calling out Baltimore’s crime problem.
The Trump campaign first resurfaced Sen. Sanders’ comments about Baltimore, which has the highest murder rate among big cities, on Saturday.
“Anyone who took the walk that we took around this neighborhood would not think you’re in a wealthy nation,” Sanders said of the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood in 2015. “You would think that you were in a third world country.”
Sanders, who toured the area during his 2016 presidential run, also noted the lack of jobs in the community.
In 2016, Sanders also tweeted, “Residents of Baltimore’s poorest boroughs have lifespans shorter than people living under dictatorship in North Korea.”
“That is a disgrace,” he added.
Residents of Baltimore’s poorest boroughs have lifespans shorter than people living under dictatorship in North Korea. That is a disgrace.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 5, 2016
Debate over criticizing Baltimore’s high crime, trash-ridden streets and rodent-infestation sparked on Saturday when Trump accused House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings of ignoring the problems in his district. Critics said the president is racist for speaking ill of the major Maryland city.
The Baltimore Sun, which has repeatedly reported on the rat issue in Baltimore, called Trump a “rat” for his comments. (RELATED: Baltimore Sun Calls Trump A ‘Rat’ In Response To Baltimore Tweets)