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After two days of tweets roundly condemned as xenophobic and racist, few Republicans or conservatives have spoken out against Donald Trump’s behavior.
Trump posted tweets Sunday telling a group of non-white Democratic congresswomen to “go back” their own countries. All of those lawmakers are Americans, and all but one were born in the United States.
Trump the next day doubled down and said that the lawmakers should apologize to him.
Charlie Sykes, a regular conservative Trump critic, referred to Trump’s tweets as “raw, industrial-strength racism.”
In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash) said Trump’s rhetoric hurt immigrant families nationwide.
“First of all, Anderson, I think all of us are attacked personally in someway because he said ‘Progressive Democrat congresswomen,’ it was clear he was talking about those four but I will tell you I got calls today from friends of mine who are naturalized citizens, Americans who have been in this country for many years who said, ‘I don’t know what to tell my children.’
“They see the president saying terrible things about their parents and therefore about them and I think the impact of his words are deeply felt across the country and they are also felt by people who remember their own connections to their immigrant” experience, Jayapal added.
In a separate on-air appearance with CNN host Don Lemon, former Ohio governor and congressman John Kasich criticized pastors not speaking out.
“I don’t understand it. You know, Don, I served in Congress where things were not tolerated. As a group and maybe if they are afraid, why don’t they get a group of people together. If you work in a group to say enough of this then you have strengthen the group. Honestly I am flabbergasted of these preachers,” Kasich said. “They get up on Sunday and they preach love and forgiveness and when this happens, you can’t find them with a search light. You don’t know where they are. We got a judge, look at what’s happening the fabric of the country. Another thing — I don’t tolerate this kind of name calling from anyone including the Democrats. You call names, you call vicious names of the president, I am against what you are doing, too. This is the president. This is the president of the United States saying these, ‘go back to where you came from.’ It is unbelievable.”
Rep. Will Hurd of Texas was one of the few Republicans to criticize Trump’s tweets.
“I think those tweets are racist and xenophobic, and they’re also inaccurate. The four women he’s referring to are actually citizens of the United States. Three of the four were born here. It’s also behavior that is unbecoming of the leader of the free world,” Hurd said. “You should be talking about things that unite us, not divide us. And also, I think politically, it doesn’t help. While you had a civil war going on within the Democratic Party between the far left and the rest of the party, now they have circled the wagons and are starting to protect one another. We can disagree without being disagreeable. I don’t agree with many of the things that they’re talking about or proposals that they’re putting forward. But that’s where the debate should be on, not these other issues.”
The debate spilled out on the airwaves of the popular daytime talk show, The View, where prominent Republican Meghan McCain called others in her party “cowardly” for not speaking out.