Squad made of ‘communists,’ Trump should ‘aim higher’
Democrats put recent internal squabbles aside to unite in defense of four liberal congresswomen whom President Donald Trump on Sunday told to “go back” and fix the countries they “originally came from” before trying to legislate changes in the United States.
Although some conservative commentators have joined Democrats in condemning the remarks – believed to be aimed at Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan – few Republican lawmakers have commented on the controversy.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was one of the few to weigh in, saying in a Fox News interview on Monday that while he agreed with Trump’s criticisms of the four congresswomen’s politics, he thought the president should “knock it down a notch” and avoid getting personal in his attacks on them.
“They are American citizens. They won an election. Take on their policies,” Graham advised.
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“We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists. They hate Israel. They hate our own country,” Graham said, referring to Ocasio-Cortez by her initials. “They’re calling the guards along our border, the 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.”
But knowing that, the president should “aim higher,” he said.
Graham said he recently spoke to Trump and lauded him for his economic accomplishments and his military success against the Islamic State. He said Trump should contrast that with those Democrats’ goals, which Graham said “would destroy this country.”
“Focus on what they want to do for America, and to America, and compare it with what you’ve done. Don’t get personal. Don’t take the bait,” Graham said he told the president.
“We don’t need to know anything about them personally,” he said. “Make them the face of the future of the Democratic Party, you will destroy the Democratic Party.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he thought Trump’s attack on the four Democratic lawmakers was a smart political move.
“I think the president believes that the more he can get the country to look at the so-called Squad, the more he can get them to realize how radical they are and how fundamentally un-American their views are, in the long-run the better off he is,” Gingrich said on “Fox & Friends.”
Rep. Justin Amash called Trump’s remarks “racist and disgusting,” but the congressman from Michigan recently left the Republican Party and before that had bucked the GOP by calling for Trump’s impeachment.
Ocasio-Cortez said that by not commenting on “racist” Trump’s remarks, Republican lawmakers were expressing tacit agreement with them.
“Until Republican officials denounce yesterday’s explicitly racist statements (which should be easy!), we sadly have no choice but to assume they condone it,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Monday. “It is extremely disturbing that the *entire* GOP caucus is silent. Is this their agenda?”
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