SAN DIEGO — President Donald Trump ventured into what his team regards as enemy territory Tuesday and it was not a peace mission.
“Governor Brown does a very poor job running California,” Trump said during a visit to the Mexican border where he inspected prototypes of the wall he wants to build. “They have the highest taxes in the United States. The place is totally out of control. You have ‘sanctuary cities’ where you have criminals living in the sanctuary cities.”
His broadside escalated a feud between the United States' chief executive and the most populous state in his country, an argument rooted in ideology, culture, race and sensibility. Trump’s administration has filed a lawsuit against California over immigration policy while the state’s attorney general has filed dozens of lawsuits against the Trump administration on a variety of fronts.
Brown said last week that Trump was waging war against the state, and Trump did nothing Tuesday to disabuse anyone of that notion.
“California sanctuary policies put the entire nation at risk,” the president said, speaking in front of a homeland security mobile command center not far from eight proposed wall sections towering over his delegation. “They’re the best friend of the criminal.”
Brown used the president’s favorite medium to fire back. “Thanks for the shout-out, @realDonaldTrump,” the governor wrote on Twitter. “But bridges are still better than walls. And California remains the 6th largest economy in the world and the most prosperous state in America. #Facts.”
Shepherded around in his armored cars and Marine helicopters, Trump was largely insulated from the dissenters in a state he lost by 4 million votes in 2016 and where just 30 percent approve of his performance today. But his trip generated strong feelings that were on display in his wake as he visited San Diego before heading to Los Angeles for a fundraiser.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.