During his first campaign rally for re-election in 2020, US President Trump stepped up his attack against the four US congresswomen. After blowing a string of tirades at Somali born Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, the crowd started chanting in unison – ‘Send Her Back’.
He waited, for a full 13 seconds, and resumed his speech. Yesterday, answering a reporter’s question, why he didn’t silence the crowd for chanting such a remark, he said ‘he tried to stop it’. He didn’t. Until then, most Republicans had his back – however, a breakfast with Vice President Pence is suggesting a new worry within Republican lawmakers. Republicans are worried if the incendiary chant could be the main tone for 2020 campaign.
“We cannot be defined by this,” said conservative Representative Mark Walker, who added that Republican leaders in the House of Representatives discussed the potential political risks at a breakfast with Vice President Mike Pence. “That does not need to be our campaign call,” Walker said.
Trump’s Wednesday speech at a gathering in Greenville, North Carolina labeling the congresswomen as un-American had caught with controversy. He even told to “let them leave if they don’t like” his policies, immigrants and defense of Israel in particular.
With his Thursday defense, Trump might have distanced himself from the ‘Send Her Back’ slogan, but a 13 second chant suggests immense ‘popularity’ of the line – and Republicans fear it could have deep rooted ties to his 2020 presidential campaign. The seeds have been sown – we will soon see what it will reap.
Trump over the weekend tweeted targeting the group of four congresswomen – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts – to ‘go back’ to where they came from despite them being American citizens.