(CNN) - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel didn't mince any words Saturday when speaking about Republicans running for the 2012 nomination - calling the group "turkeys."
He lambasted the front-runner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, for what he called inconsistencies in his record.
"I've watched a number of them, and I've got to be honest, I never thought I'd say this: I'm beginning to miss Sarah Palin's insights," Rahm told a Democratic crowd at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Des Moines, Iowa.
"Their debate was called the Thanksgiving Family Forum - which is fitting because I have never seen such a collection of turkeys,” Emanuel said.
Across town, five GOP hopefuls were speaking at a Thanksgiving church event.
Emanuel continued to tear apart the Republican hopefuls.
"Take Mitt Romney. He said he would be in Iowa tonight. We should have known he would change his mind."
Romney did not appear at the Iowa Thanksgiving event, choosing instead to make a speech in New Hampshire.
Emanuel was no less forgiving of the other candidates: "Newt was at the debate. I heard he had to leave early to run back to his most important people: The salespeople at Tiffany's. Herman Cain and Rick Perry were running a little late, they were in their tutorial: Where's Libya?"
Gingrich faced questions early in his campaign about a large line of credit at the famous jeweler. In recent days Cain has stumbled over questions about Libya, including suggesting the Taliban was operating in the country.
Emanuel mentioned a few Republicans he labeled "impressive," but none are currently running for the nomination. His list included Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Emanuel reserved his harshest criticism for Romney, whom he assailed as inconsistent and cold to the problems of the middle class.
He listed a series of issues he said Romney had flip-flopped on, including climate change, abortion and gay rights.
"Mitt Romney says he's a man of steadiness and consistency," Emanuel said. "If that's true, then I'm a linebacker for the Chicago Bears."
Emanuel said the only issue Romney was consistent on was supporting big corporations.
"The only thing scarier than Mitt Romney's flip-flops are the issues he has refused to bend on, where he's refused to change: He has been rock-solid in siding with the privileged over the middle class," Emanuel said.
In a statement, Romney's spokesman said the focus on the Massachusetts governor was an indication of his strength as a candidate.
“The last thing the White House wants is to run against Mitt Romney – which explains their obsessive focus on him and deployment of all of President Obama's cronies to attack him," Andrea Saul said Sunday. "President Obama has failed to create a single net new job and has wreaked more havoc on the middle class than any president in modern history. The only job he cares about is his own, so, instead of working to create jobs for Americans, he's working to create distractions."