Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) said Monday that it’s “outrageous” to call President Trump‘s tweets telling four Democratic congresswomen of color to “go back” to their countries racist.
“That’s outrageous. Of course, they’re not racist,” Perdue, a close ally of Trump’s who is up for reelection in 2020, said when a reporter noted that some used that term about the president’s rhetoric.
Perdue’s comments come after Trump sparked widespread backlash among Democrats, as well as a growing number of Republicans, when he targeted a group of unidentified progressive congresswomen “who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe.”
Georgia’s other Senator, Johnny Isakson, said this afternoon Trump’s comments were “totally inappropriate.”
“I wasn’t elected to make excuses or explain the statements of somebody else, and so I’m just not going to do that,” Isakson said.
The first-term Georgia Republican has reportedly about $1.9 million during the latest reporting period during the second quarter of 2019, which spans from April to June. He has roughly $4.9 million in cash on hand.
That total doesn’t include another $500,000 or so raised over the same span for a pro-Perdue political action committee. And it nearly mirrors his first-quarter fundraising efforts, when he raised around $1.8 million.
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), like Perdue, is up for reelection in 2020, told reporters she believes Trump’s tweets are racist. When asked, Ernst responded “Yes I do. They are American citizens,” she said.
Senate Republicans, besides Ernst, stopped short of calling Trump’s remarks racist.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who is up for reelection in 2020, urged Trump to delete his tweets. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) called his comments “spiteful” and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) urged him to “aim high” and avoid personal attacks.
“Don’t get personal. Don’t take the bait,” said Graham. He said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and her colleagues “are American citizens” who were “duly elected,” while adding: “We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists. They hate Israel. They hate our own country.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), when asked if they were racist, said he doesn’t read into peoples’ “intentions.”
“Identify politics is a poison, it’s toxic. …The president shouldn’t have written that. I think it damages him. It damages the country,” he said.