Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), the vice chair of the House Republican Conference, is pushing back — though only slightly — after President Trump's rally crowd chanted "send her back!" about a minority congresswoman.
Walker on Thursday tweeted that "I struggled with" the chant at Trump's Wednesday night rally, which came as the president repeated his attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), one of the four minority congresswomen he told to "go back" to where she came from in a weekend tweet. Omar fled to the United States as a refugee from Somalia at a young age.
This language at the rally, Walker suggested, is "painful to our friends in the minority communities." At the same time, Walker didn't veer too far from Trump's talking points because in the same tweet he attacked Omar as someone who has "great disdain" for the United States.
Though it was brief, I struggled with the “send her back” chant tonight referencing Rep. Omar. Her history, words & actions reveal her great disdain for both America & Israel. That should be our focus and not phrasing that’s painful to our friends in the minority communities.
Trump's weekend tweets drew some pushback from elected Republicans, while GOP leaders like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) defended him and argued he is not racist. On Thursday, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) joined Walker in criticizing the chant by saying "there is no place for that" while defending Trump as someone who "does not have a racist bone in his body," reports Time's Alana Abramson.
Outside of elected officials, Matt Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, also called the chants "wrong" and "vile," adding that they "don't reflect who we are as Americans," while conservative Trump critic Bill Kristol tweeted that "'send her back' conservatism is not a conservatism worth defending." Brendan Morrow