Trump ‘might’ try to stop future ‘send her back’ chants
Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday that President Donald Trump “might make an effort to speak out about it” if audience members at one of his rallies again began to chant “send her back” like they did last week in North Carolina.
The crowd began the chant as Trump criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. In a series of tweets days before that rally, Trump had suggested Omar and three other minority congresswomen from the Democrats’ progressive wing should “go back” to their countries of origin.
“The president wasn’t pleased about it. Neither was I. The president’s been very clear about that,” Pence said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
After Democrats and many Republicans on Capitol Hill expressed outrage at the crowd’s chants, Trump said Thursday that he “wasn’t happy with that message.” But on Friday, Trump described the audience as “incredible people” and “incredible patriots.”
At Wednesday’s rally in Greenville, North Carolina, the president made no effort to stop the chant, and at one point paused his speech as the audience said “send her back” nearly a dozen times. Nothing in the video indicated the president was displeased with the crowd’s behavior.
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“Face the Nation” host Major Garrett told Pence that Trump’s “relationship with his supporters is as close as anyone has ever had in American politics” and he could stop such chants “with one simple word or a phrase.”
The vice president said that “if it happened again he might make an effort to speak out about it.”
Pence added that “millions of Americans share the president’s frustration” with the “reckless rhetoric” that he says has been used by Omar and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. Collectively, the four liberal congresswomen are known as “the Squad.”
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As examples, he cited comments made by Omar that were critical of Israel and were condemned as anti-Semitic by Democrats and Republicans, as well as Ocasio-Cortez referring to Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers as “concentration camps.”
“The president thought it was important to stand up to them. And I’m glad he did it,” Pence said.
Garrett asked Pence if he thought the congresswomen should be able to remain in the U.S. as they issued such criticisms.
“Of course they can stay,” Pence said. “They’re American citizens.”
Contributing: David Jackson, John Fritze and Michael Collins