Republicans Respond to Trump’s Racist Outburst…Sort Of

UPDATE (5:30 pm): What say Colorado Republicans in Congress?


♦ Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma): Not a peep

♦ Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez): Nada

♦ Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley): Nothing

♦ Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs): Zilch

Please let us know if we missed a comment from one of these folks.


President Trump went full racist over the weekend as part of a Twitter tirade against four Democratic congresswomen, and on Monday he doubled-down on those comments. As the Associated Press reports:

Unbowed by searing criticism, President Donald Trump on Monday emphatically defended his tweet calling on four Democratic congresswomen of color to go back to their “broken and crime infested” countries. Condemnation of his comments “doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” he declared.

Trump responded to questions at the White House after his Sunday tweet assailing the lawmakers, all of whom are U.S. citizens and three of whom were born here. He has been roundly criticized by Democrats who labeled his remarks racist and divisive. A smattering of Republicans also have objected, though most leading Republicans have been silent.

We have no doubt that the office of Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) has been busy not returning reporter calls today, but plenty of Republicans have commented on Trump’s remarks. While world leaders have roundly condemned Trump’s attacks, most Republicans who are speaking out are…not. As Aaron Blake writes for the Washington Post:

After spending much of the past 24 hours silently pretending that President Trump didn’t say what he just said, GOP reactions to Trump telling nonwhite congresswomen to return to the countries they came from are starting to roll in.

And it’s clear they have no good answers…

…Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) also tried to pretend that Trump hadn’t said what he said. Harris said that Trump’s tweets were “clearly not racist” and that “he could have meant go back to the district they came from — to the neighborhood they came from.” Trump’s tweet clearly references the “countries” these members came from before telling them to “go back.” There is no ambiguity on that count.

The first White House aide to weigh in at length was Marc Short, who serves as Vice President Pence’s chief of staff. He — rather remarkably — suggested Monday that Trump can’t be racist because he appointed a Chinese American transportation secretary, Elaine Chao. And that’s not even oversimplifying Short’s response.

That’s right — the Chief of Staff for Vice President Marc Short says President Trump can’t possibly be racist because Elaine Chao serves as his Transportation Secretary. As Colorado Pols readers understand, you can’t be racist if you went to a wedding in China, and this fits along those lines.

And then there’s South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who barfed out this response on “Fox and Friends”:

“We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists. They hate Israel. They hate our own country. They’re calling the guards along our border — Border Patrol agents — concentration camp guards. They accuse people who support Israel of doing it for the Benjamins. They’re anti-Semitic. They’re anti-America.”

Ken Cuccinelli (right)

This morning, Alisyn Camerota of CNN repeatedly asked Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, to comment on Trump’s tirade. Cuccinelli basically just shrugged when Camerota asked if Trump’s comments were racist, repeatedly insisting that he hadn’t been on Twitter in the last 24 hours as some sort of defense in his favor:

CAMEROTA: Just the concept of the President of the United States telling duly elected Congresswomen of color to go back to where they came from — the countries they came from — these are U.S. citizens. So, you don’t find that racist?


CAMEROTA: So how do you explain it?

CUCCINELLI: I don’t. You’re going to have to ask the President about that.

It wasn’t until later in the day that a few prominent Republicans started actually speaking out against Trump’s comments, as Politico reports:

“Instead of sharing how the Democratic Party’s far-left, pro-socialist policies… are wrong for the future of our nation, the President interjected with unacceptable personal attacks and racially offensive language,” said Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the only black Republican senator. “No matter our political disagreements, aiming for the lowest common denominator will only divide our nation further.”…

…Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), a moderate up for re-election, said she disagrees “strongly” with House progressives on policy as well as their “anti-Semitic rhetoric” but urged Trump to take down his “way over the line” tweet.

“President Trump was wrong to suggest that four left-wing congresswomen should go back to where they came from. Three of the four were born in America and the citizenship of all four is as valid as mine,” said Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), emphasizing that he disagreed with the Democrats on “virtually every policy issue.” But he said those arguments should be defeated “on the merits, not on the basis of their ancestry.”

We’ll update this post as if we hear any response from prominent Colorado Republicans.



16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Slot Cory under the wishy-washy non-response column – whenever someone finds him and forces him to answer the question.

  2. MichaelBowman says:

    If you've had enough of the Ms. Lindsay show, take a gander at his opponent and throw him a few dollars.  A really wonderful man with a compelling life story (be sure to watch the video).

    • Genghis says:

      As lulzy as a Dame Lindsay Graham command performance can be, it is indeed time to detach this piece of shit from the public teat and consign him to lucrative private sector wingnut welfare work. I'll be sending money to Mr. Harrison's campaign.

    • notaskinnycook says:

      Thanks for the link, Michael. An acquaintance of mine is running for Aurora Council. That's a far cry from the Senate, but I sent him the link. Harrison knows how to connect with his voters.

      • MichaelBowman says:

        He is the perfect (and necessary) antidote to the Palmetto trainwreck.  He has a couple very personal, beautiful stories he shared with us recently at a Clyburn event that I’ll share at the next gathering.  

  3. Davie says:

    So is it fair to call for *rump to crawl back into the sewer he came from with all the other alligators in New York City?

  4. mamajama55 says:

    The Squad responds: Representatives Presley, Omar, Tlaib, and Ocasio-Cortez respond to $rump’s tweeted racist remarks. Video of their press conference today follows:

    Thanks for a better link, Michael.


  5. HeavyG says:

    I can’t remember where I read it today, but it is spot on:  when rethugs fear speaking out in fear of being out-trumped by a primary challenger, it really is just job security over morals/principle.   Conman Cory should have been the first to speak out, but saying nothing is so much worse. Tick tock, tick tock…

  6. JohnInDenver says:

    I'd stress that Rep. Ken Buck did not respond from under either of his hats — neither as a US Representative OR as the Colorado GOP Chair.

    I couldn't find any statement by any Republican candidate for federal office, either.

    A book titled Profiles in Cowering looking for examples will no doubt be overwhelmed by the continuing silence of those who fear retaliation of *resident Trump's twitter account.

  7. RepealAndReplace says:

     I would have expected Ken Buck to open his mouth. And given Trump a racist High-Five for what he said.

  8. DenverMom says:

    And Tuesday morning, still no statements.  I called 2 of his offices and they said the Senator is still thinking…

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