President Trump slammed Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the members of ‘squad’ at a campaign rally tonight with supporters responding with shouts of ‘send her back, send her back.’
While Trump raged against all four lawmakers who make up the squad individually – and railed against several of the Democratic presidential contenders – it was Omar, who is a frequent target of his ire, who bore the brunt of his criticism.
Trump accused Omar, a Somalian refugee who became an American citizen, of blaming terrorists attacks on our country.
‘She smeared U.S. Service members involved in Black Hawk Down,’ he said referring to the failed 1993 raid in Mogadishu by the U.S. military.
‘In other words, she slandered the brave Americans were trying to keep peace in Somalia. Omar minimized the September 11th attacks on our homeland saying some people did something,’ he added.
‘Send her back, send her back,’ the crowd roared – a reference to Trump’s tweet on Sunday where he suggested the members of the ‘squad’ should go ‘back where they came from’ if they were unhappy.
The House voted on Tuesday to condemn his words as racist.
Omar was born in Mogadishu but she and her family left the country in 1990 to escape the war there.
It was the latest sign that Trump hopes to win a second term in office by playing to racial and nationalist themes that shock the consciences of many Americans, but seem only to delight his most ardent supporters.
Many Republicans, including some of Trump’s advisers, wish he would stick to those themes, saying they think that he is overshadowing an economic success story by engaging in name-calling and divisive cultural clashes.
But while Trump did devote time to the recent positive economic growth, and took credit for data showing that China’s gross domestic product is growing at its slowest rate in 27 years, he was most animated when attacking his Democratic rivals, known as “the squad.”
Trump denounced Ocasio-Cortez for branding federal migrant detention centers along the southwestern border “concentration camps,” saying she had, in effect, called border agents Nazis.
Trump also ridiculed the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, like mocking the name of Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., and saying that former Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. had “choked” in the last Democratic primary debate after Senator Kamala Harris of California challenged him on the issue of busing.
Depicting the 2020 Democrats as a hapless and left-wing lot, Trump delivered what may have been his core pitch: “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country. A vote for any Democrat in 2020 is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction of the American Dream — frankly, the destruction of our country.”
Trump first announced the rally shortly after House Democrats set Wednesday as the date for the former special counsel, Robert Mueller, to testify about his report on Russian election interference.
That was widely seen as an effort by the president to counterprogram that testimony, which has since been delayed.
During his speech tonight, he only briefly mentioned the investigation, denouncing it as “a hoax,” and never mentioned Mueller.
Trump carried North Carolina in 2016 with 49.8 percent of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s 46.2 percent.
The state also voted Republican, for Mitt Romney, in 2012, after Barack Obama won it narrowly in 2008.