Kasich calls on Republicans to condemn 'deplorable' Trump tweets

Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) on Monday called on his fellow Republicans to condemn a series of tweets from President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSPS warns Pennsylvania mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted Michael Cohen book accuses Trump of corruption, fraud Trump requests mail-in ballot for Florida congressional primary MORE in which he told a group of Democratic congresswomen that they should "go back" to the countries they came from.

"What @realDonaldTrump said about Democrat women in Congress is deplorable and beneath the dignity of the office," Kasich, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, tweeted.

"We all, including Republicans, need to speak out against these kinds of comments that do nothing more than divide us and create deep animosity — maybe even hatred," he added.

"At the base of America is a Jewish and Christian tradition that says that we must realize that we are all brothers and sisters," he tweeted in a subsequent post. "Rhetoric like the President’s works against that foundation of our country and all that we teach our children."

Trump in a set of tweets Sunday targeted an unidentified group of progressive congresswomen "who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe."

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In the tweets, which seemed to be directed at Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOcasio-Cortez celebrates 'squad' primary victories: 'The people triumphed' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - The choice: Biden-Harris vs. Trump-Pence Omar fends off primary challenge in Minnesota MORE (D-Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDemocrats hammer Trump for entertaining false birther theory about Harris Overnight Energy: EPA finalizes rollback of Obama-era oil and gas methane emissions standards | Democratic lawmakers ask Interior to require masks indoors at national parks | Harris climate agenda stresses need for justice Markey riffs on JFK quote in new ad touting progressive bona fides MORE (D-N.Y.) Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOcasio-Cortez celebrates 'squad' primary victories: 'The people triumphed' Omar fends off primary challenge in Minnesota Centrists, progressives rally around Harris pick for VP MORE (D-Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOcasio-Cortez celebrates 'squad' primary victories: 'The people triumphed' It's past time to be rid of the legacy of Jesse Helms Minneapolis Star Tribune endorses Ilhan Omar's primary challenger MORE (D-Mass.), the president suggested they "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."

All four of the freshman congresswomen are U.S. citizens, and only Omar, who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Somalia, was born in another country.

While Democrats have widely condemned the attacks on the first-year lawmakers as racist, the majority of Republicans have remained silent.

Rep. Andy HarrisAndrew (Andy) Peter HarrisGOP's Gohmert introduces resolution that would ban the Democratic Party Overnight Defense: Panel approves 4.6B bill addressing border wall funds, Confederate name changes | Navy ship fire rages on House panel approves defense bill with border wall limits, Confederate base provision MORE (R-Md.) defended Trump's tweets Monday morning, arguing the comments are "obviously not racist."

"Well, ask the president what he meant by it, but clearly it's not a racist comment. He could have meant go back to the district they came from, to the neighborhood they came from," Harris told a Baltimore radio station, despite Trump specifying "countries" in his tweets.

Kasich, who did not label the tweets racist, has been a frequent critic of Trump's and previously weighed launching a primary challenge in 2020 but later backed down, saying “there is no path right now for me.”
 
Updated at 11:47 a.m.