Members of the Democratic primary field unloaded on President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE over his withdrawal of U.S. forces from northern Syria, arguing the move would weaken the U.S. position in the Middle East and security interests at home.
During an exchange over the ongoing military conflict between Turkish and Kurdish forces, several candidates at Tuesday night's Democratic debate in Ohio attacked Trump for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, and called for increased humanitarian protections for Kurdish civilians fleeing the conflict.
“We have an erratic, crazy president who knows not a damn thing about foreign policy and operates out of fear for his own reelection,” former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat threatens to vote against party's spending bill if HBCUs don't get more federal aid Overnight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes MORE (D) said of Trump's Middle East policy, adding that the troop withdrawal was "the most shameful thing any president has done in modern history in terms of foreign policy."
"The slaughter going on in Syria is not the consequence of American presence, it is the consequence of American withdrawal and betrayal," added South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Blumenthal calls on Buttigieg to investigate American Airlines-JetBlue partnership LGBT film festival to premiere documentary about Pete Buttigieg MORE (D). "Look, I didn't think we should have gone to Iraq in the first place. I think we need to get out of Afghanistan. But it's also the case that a small number of specialized special forces and the intelligence capabilities were the only thing that stood between that part of Syria and what we're seeing now, which is the beginning of a genocide and the resurgence of ISIS."
Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenFederal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack MORE (D-Mass.), a critic of the Iraq War, called for a cautious withdrawal of U.S. forces and blamed Trump for a "humanitarian disaster" erupting in northern Syria.
“I don’t think we should have troops in the Middle East, but we should do it in the right way," she said.
Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats urge Biden to commute sentences of 4K people on home confinement Briahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Sanders 'disappointed' in House panel's vote on drug prices MORE (I-Vt.), a longtime skeptic of U.S. intervention in the Middle East, was the only candidate onstage to definitively say that Turkey was no longer an ally of the United States, blaming the Turkish government for "mass slaughter" of Kurdish forces and civilians.
Trump, he added, had “wrecked America's ability to do foreign policy" by reversing U.S. foreign policy on a whim, and refusing to protect a U.S. military ally, the Kurds.
Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerDOJ announces agencywide limits on chokeholds and no-knock entries Fighting poverty, the Biden way Top Senate Democrats urge Biden to take immediate action on home confinement program MORE (D-N.J.) suggested that the move would strengthen Syria's Bashar Assad and Russia's Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinHillicon Valley — Facebook 'too late' curbing climate falsities France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal Apple, Google remove Navalny app as Russian elections begin MORE, and condemned the "retreat" of U.S. forces under danger from Syrian forces.
"We cannot allow the Russians to continue to grow in influence by growing on the world stage," Booker, said, adding, “This president time and time again is showing moral weakness."
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro compared what he said was the hypocrisy of Trump allowing ISIS prisoners to be freed amid chaos in northern Syria while his administration detained thousands of migrants in detention centers in the U.S.
"Think about how absurd it is that this president is caging kids on the border and effectively letting ISIS prisoners run free," Castro said. "He has made a tremendous mistake, a total disaster there in Syria. He's abandoned the very people that we gave our word to."