June 28, 2019 / 2:47 AM / a year ago

'That's the end of that race!' - Trump knocks Democrats over healthcare for immigrants

NEW YORK/OSAKA, Japan, June 27 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump knocked 10 Democratic presidential hopefuls on Thursday for pledging to cover healthcare for immigrants who live in the United States after coming to the country illegally.

During a televised debate in Miami, a moderator asked presidential candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Kamala Harris of California and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, if their potential administrations would support covering healthcare for illegal immigrants.

All 10 candidates on the stage raised their hands in the affirmative.

Trump, who has made cracking down on illegal immigration a signature policy of his presidency, pounced via Twitter.

“All Democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited healthcare. How about taking care of American Citizens first!? That’s the end of that race!” the Republican tweeted.

Trump has promised to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and has declared a national emergency over the number of people crossing into the United States from the south.

The president is in Japan, attending the G20 summit of world leaders there. During a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Trump could not help weighing in on the debate going on back in the United States.

“You know they have a debate going on,” he said to Merkel. “They had the first debate last night. I don’t know if you saw. It wasn’t very exciting, I can tell you that.”

Trump said he looked forward to spending time with Merkel rather than watching the debate. The German leader, who worked closely with Republican President George W. Bush and Democratic President Barack Obama during her tenure, kept a straight face. (Reporting by Jeff Mason in New York and Roberta Rampton in Osaka, Japan Editing by Colleen Jenkins; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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