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 TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record 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 OmarTlaib says she held Omar's hand during 'triggering' moments at Trump's State of the Union speech Key House Democrat says Perez must go: 'He doesn't lead on anything' Democrats tear into Trump's speech: It was a 'MAGA rally' MORE (D-Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezJulián Castro endorses Rep. Cuellar's primary opponent in Texas Overnight Energy: Controversial Trump adviser reportedly returning to EPA | Delta aims to be first carbon neutral airline | Dem senator gives EPA D-minus on 'forever chemicals' Intercept Bureau Chief: Culinary Union concerns over "Medicare for All" are faulty MORE (D-N.Y.) Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibWill Bernie have to turn on his bros? Rashida Tlaib detained by police during protest against low wages at Detroit airport Trump, like most presidents, takes credit for American workers' effort MORE (D-Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyTlaib says she held Omar's hand during 'triggering' moments at Trump's State of the Union speech Pressley slams trolls over alopecia comments Pramila Jayapal endorses Democrat Henry Cuellar'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 HarrisConservative lawmakers warn Pelosi about 'rate-setting' surprise billing fix Overnight Defense: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases House conservatives attempt to access closed-door impeachment hearing 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.