President Donald Trump took his verbal attacks on four female, minority members of Congress on the road Wednesday night in a bid to make Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib the face of the Democratic Party.
“These left-wing ideologues see our nation as a force of evil, they want to demolish our Constitution,” Trump told the crowd in Greenville, North Carolina, to deep, supportive booing.
In response, the crowd chanted his own racist catchphrase back at him: “Send her back.”
The chants echoed the president’s own attacks that began over the weekend when he tweeted that the four congresswomen — all women of color and three of them born in the U.S. — should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” He’s accused them of complaining about America, namely the country’s immigration policies and the president’s previous comments attacking minorities.
Omar, a practicing Muslim and former refugee who escaped Somalia’s civil war at age 12, has faced racist vitriol since she was elected to represent Minnesota in November.
Trump and ultra-conservative Republicans have particularly zeroed in on her, with Trump alleging this week that Omar is “pro al-Qaeda.” (There’s no evidence behind that claim, and Omar said earlier this week that Trump is practicing “the agenda of white nationalists.”)
“Omar minimized the September 11 attacks on our homeland by saying ‘some people did something,’” Trump told the crowd. Omar’s comments were part of a larger dialogue about anti-Muslim rhetoric.
“You say al-Qaeda makes you proud. You don’t speak that way about America,” Trump said.
Turning away from Omar, Trump moved on to Ocasio-Cortez, dubbing her “Cortez” (“I don’t have time to go with three different names — takes too much time”) for saying immigrant detainees were being forced to drink water out of toilets at government detention centers. Then he hit Tlaib for saying “the big, fat, vicious F-word” after she got elected. He also asked if Pressley was related to Elvis Presley. She is not.
Then Trump took aim at his political opponents “Sleepy Joe” Biden, “Crazy” Bernie Sanders, and “Pocahontas,” his racist nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren. He acknowledged that Warren had surged in the pools and lamented maybe he’d dubbed her “Pocahontas” too early, but then promised to bring it back.
He also spent time making fun of of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg over his oft-mispronounced last name. “You say boot, and then edge-edge. Boot-edge-edge,” Trump said.
The rally came hours after the House of Representatives rejected legislation to introduce articles of impeachment against the president. Ninety-five Democratic members of Congress voted for it, up from 66 members who supported the motion in January 2018.
“The resolution — how stupid is that — on impeachment,” Trump said. “I want to thank those Democrats because many of them voted for us.”
Cover: President Donald Trump speaks during a Keep America Great rally on July 17, 2019 in Greenville, North Carolina. Trump is speaking in North Carolina only hours after The House of Representatives voted down an effort from a Texas Democrat to impeach the President. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)