Dems circle wagons around the ‘squad,’ as Omar responds to ‘send her back’ chant
Written by Peter Boykin on July 17, 2019
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and other Democrats united in condemning President Trump on Wednesday night after the crowd at a North Carolina “Make America Great Again” rally broke out in a striking chant of “send her back” while the president criticized Omar and other members of the so-called progressive Democrat “squad.”
The three words referred to Trump’s tweet on Sunday in which the president said unnamed “Democrat Congresswomen” should go back and fix the “corrupt” and “crime infested places” from which they came and then “come back and show us how it’s done.”
The president later all but affirmed he was referring to Omar, as well as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley — all of whom, except Omar, were born in the United States. After a historic floor fight, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives formally condemned Trump’s comments as “racist” on Tuesday.
“Let ’em leave … they’re always telling us how to run it, how to do this, how to do that. You know what? If they don’t love it, tell ’em to leave it,” Trump said at the rally, doubling down on his earlier comments.
In response on Wednesday evening, Omar quoted civil rights activist and poet Maya Angelou on Twitter: “You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.”
She also retweeted a post from California Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat, calling out the “racist chant” and urging people to “vote, donate & organize like never before” to save “the soul of our country.”
Omar also retweeted Minnesota State Sen. Matt Klein’s message of support.
“Congresswoman Omar is staying here,” Klein wrote. “I welcome your opinions on her policies. But if you think you are more American than her, you don’t know what America is, and it is you that should leave.”
In his wide-ranging rally Wednesday, Trump went point-by-point, member-by-member, as he unloaded on the squad. Trump specifically slammed Omar saying she “smeared U.S. service members in ‘Black Hawk Down.’ She slandered the brave Americans trying to keep peace in Somalia” — a dig at her Somali-American heritage.
Trump also said Omar blamed America for the economic crisis in Venezuela and refused to condemn Al Qaeda.
Trump then moved on to his critique of Tlaib, saying she “used the F-word to describe the presidency and your president.”
“That’s not nice, even for me,” Trump said. “That’s not somebody who loves our country.”
The president then took aim at Ocasio-Cortez, whom he mocked for her “three different names” as well as saying she inaccurately described the migrant holding facilities at the southern border as concentration camps.
Of Pressley, Trump said the Massachusetts congresswoman “thinks that people with the same skin color all need to think the same. She said, ‘we don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be brown voices, we don’t need black faces that don’t want to be a black voice,’” a reference to remarks Pressley gave at a conference this past weekend. “Can you imagine if I said that?”
At the top of his remarks Wednesday night, Trump celebrated the House’s decision to shelve impeachment proceedings against him.
“I just heard that the United States House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted to kill the most ridiculous project I ever worked on,” Trump said, referring to an impeachment resolution proposed by Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, that was widely opposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other top Democrats.
“The resolution — How stupid is that? — on impeachment.”
Trump called the 332-95 vote to sideline the impeachment resolution Wednesday “totally lopsided” and a “slaughter,” and instead touted the strong economy and low unemployment numbers under his administration.
“And they want to try and impeach,” he said. “It’s a disgrace.”
Fox New’s Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.