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2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally

The Hill logo The Hill 7/18/2019 Tal Axelrod
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Democrats running for the White House in 2020 hammered President Trump Wednesday and Thursday after he went after four progressive congresswomen of color at a North Carolina rally.

Trump teed off on Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) at the event, and the presidential candidates focused much of their ire on chants of "send her back" that erupted during a diatribe against Omar, a naturalized U.S. citizen and refugee from Somalia.

"It's clear that Donald Trump is trying to divide us by race and gender. It's immoral. Our children are listening," former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted in a lengthy thread. "These members of Congress - children of immigrants, just like so many of us - are an example of exactly what makes America great."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) slammed Trump as "desperate," adding that "calling out his racism, xenophobia, and misogyny is imperative."

"Trump knows that when we stand together and fight for racial, social, economic and environmental justice, we have the power to defeat him. So the demagogue is doing what he knows best: Divide and conquer through hate," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) blasted the comments as "vile," "cowardly" and "racist," adding "It's time to get Trump out of office and unite the country."

"He's preying on bigotry to try to propel himself forward, but now he's in the most powerful position in the land," Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said on MSNBC

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) said the chants "don't happen by accident" and are "the product of a president who sees our diversity not as a strength, but as a weakness."

"Whether it's 'send her back' or 'lock her up,' 'there has to be some form of punishment' or 'grab her by the p***y'-the throughline is contempt for women and anyone who threatens this president's fragile ego," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) tweeted, referencing past disparaging comments Trump has made about women or controversial remarks on abortion.

"Tonight on a stage the President returned to bigotry once again. Inciting hatred-it's what he likes to do," Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said. "The words 'Are there no limits to what he will say or do?' ring hollow here, until you answer: there is a limit, & it rests with me-stand up, speak out, organize and VOTE."

".@IlhanMN makes our country and our Congress better. The hate Donald Trump is stoking in North Carolina tonight is odious and un-American," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted.

"There is no bottom to the level of vile and hate this president is willing to go. Enough," Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) said.

"A tweet. Then a chant. And it won't stop there. Trump is fueling and feeding off hate. Racism and Islamophobia are stains on humanity and on our country. We stand with @IlhanMN," tweeted New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang slammed Trump for trying to "bully people for political mileage."

"This is horrific, racist garbage. Rep. Omar is a Congresswoman and an American," Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) tweeted.

The criticism is the latest development in an ongoing feud that started Sunday when Trump said the four congresswomen, known as "the squad," should go back to the "crime infested places from which they came."

Three of the four congresswomen were born in the U.S. and all four are citizens.

Democrats and some Republicans have seized on the remarks as racist. The House formally condemned them in a 240-187 vote in the House Tuesday.

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