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Rising number of GOP lawmakers criticize Trump remarks about minority Dems

A growing number of Republicans are calling out President Trump for his tweet saying that Democratic congresswomen should "go back" to where they came from.

Two Republicans called the remarks racist a day after most in the party were silent about the issue. Another Republican senator called Trump’s tweet “racially offensive.” 

Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdHouse Hispanic Republicans welcome four new members Democrats lead in diversity in new Congress despite GOP gains Senate passes bill to secure internet-connected devices against cyber vulnerabilities MORE (R-Texas) described the Trump tweet as "racist and xenophobic."

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"I think those are racist and xenophobic, they're also inaccurate," Hurd, the only African American House Republican, said of the tweets in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

"The four women he's referring to are actually citizens of the United States, three of the four were born here," he said. "It's also behavior that's unbecoming of the leader of the free world. You should be talking about things that unite us not divide us." 

Hurd represents a swing district on the Texas border, and his race next year is considered a toss-up by the Cool Political Report. 

Rep. Mike TurnerMichael Ray TurnerDemocratic lawmakers lambast Trump over Esper firing as GOP remains mum Overnight Defense: How members of the Armed Services committees fared in Tuesday's elections | Military ballots among those uncounted in too-close-to-call presidential race | Ninth US service member killed by COVID-19 Turner fends off Democratic challenge in Ohio MORE (R-Ohio) also called the remarks racist.

"I am confident that every Member of Congress is a committed American," he tweeted. "@realDonaldTrump’s tweets from this weekend were racist and he should apologize. We must work as a country to rise above hate, not enable it."

Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottDemocrats lead in diversity in new Congress despite GOP gains The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Pfizer unveils detailed analysis of COVID-19 vaccine & next steps GOP senators congratulate Harris on Senate floor MORE (R-S.C.), the only African American Republican senator, called the tweet an “unacceptable personal attack” with “racially offensive language.”

“Instead of sharing how the Democratic Party’s far-left, pro-socialist policies — not to mention the hateful language some of their members have used towards law enforcement and Jews — are wrong for the future of our nation, the president interjected with unacceptable personal attacks and racially offensive language,” Scott said in a statement. “No matter our political disagreements, aiming for the lowest common denominator will only divide our nation further.”

Other Republicans criticizing Trump stopped short of calling the remarks racist, and instead cast them as unreflective of U.S. values. Many of the critics represent districts that will be Democratic electoral targets next year.

Rep. Pete OlsonPeter (Pete) Graham OlsonRepublican Fort Bend County Sheriff wins Texas House seat 10 bellwether House races to watch on election night Democrats, GOP fighting over largest House battlefield in a decade MORE, who represents a Texas district considered by Cook to lean Republican, said the president's tweet is "not reflective of the values" of the more than 1 million residents in his district and urged the president to "disavow his comments."

Rep. Susan BrooksSusan Wiant BrooksVoters elected a record number of Black women to Congress this year — none were Republican Here are the 17 GOP women newly elected to the House this year The year of the Republican woman MORE (R-Ind.), who is not running for reelection but represents a competitive district, said in a tweet that Trump's comments "are inappropriate and do not reflect American values." She said "ALL of our elected officials need to raise their level of civility" to address the nation's issues.

Rep. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyThe Hill's Morning Report - Too close to call Chip Roy fends off challenge from Wendy Davis to win reelection in Texas Democrats seek wave to bolster House majority MORE (R), who also represents a competitive district in Texas, said Trump was wrong to say that any American citizen has a "home" that isn't the United States.

But he also criticized the targets of Trump's tweet, arguing that lawmakers who "refuse to defend America" should be voted out of office next year.. 

Rep. Paul MitchellPaul MitchellGOP lawmaker to Trump: Drop election argument 'for the sake of our Nation' Here are the 17 GOP women newly elected to the House this year House GOP lawmaker: Biden should be recognized as president-elect MORE (R-Mich.) tweeted that he shares the "political frustrations with some members of the other party, but these comments are beneath leaders."

Rep. Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonGOP lawmaker to Trump: Drop election argument 'for the sake of our Nation' Pressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win Republican Michigan congressman: 'The people have spoken' MORE (R-Mich.), in a district Cook considers to remain likely Republican, said he is appalled by the Trump’s tweets. He said the “inflammatory rhetoric from both sides” used to divide isn’t “right” or “helpful.”

“The President’s tweets were flat out wrong and uncalled for, and I would encourage my colleagues from both parties to stop talking so much and start governing more,” Upton tweeted.

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBiden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate Overnight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases Bipartisan Senate group holding coronavirus relief talks amid stalemate MORE (R-Maine), who is facing reelection in 2020 in a seat Democrats are hoping to flip, said the tweet was “way over the line” and said Trump should “take that down.”

"I disagree strongly with many of the views and comments of some of the far-left members of the House Democratic Caucus – especially when it comes to their views on socialism, their anti-Semitic rhetoric, and their negative comments about law enforcement – but the President’s tweet that some Members of Congress should go back to the ‘places from which they came’ was way over the line, and he should take that down,” Collins said in a statement.

Rep. Bill Huzienga (R-Mich.) said elected officials need to “lead by example” and “end the personal character assassination attacks.”

Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikDemocrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? Governors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Cuomo reverses on in-person Thanksgiving plans with family MORE (R-N.Y.) said she disagrees with the “tactics, policies, and rhetoric of the far-left socialist ‘Squad,’” but said Trump’s tweets were denigrating and wrong.

“It is unacceptable to tell legal U.S. citizens to go back to their home country,” she tweeted.

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGraham: Trump should attend Biden inauguration 'if' Biden wins The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Coast-to-coast fears about post-holiday COVID-19 spread This week: Congress races to wrap work for the year MORE (R-Mo.) rebuked the president’s tweet in a statement, suggesting feuds should focus on policy disagreements.

“Just because the so-called squad constantly insults and attacks the president isn’t a reason to adopt their unacceptable tactics. There is plenty to say about how destructive House Democrats’ policies would be for our economy, our health care system, and our security. I think that’s where the focus should be,” Blunt said.

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiMurkowski: Trump should concede White House race Graham: Trump should attend Biden inauguration 'if' Biden wins OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump administration proceeds with rollback of bird protections despite objections | Trump banking proposal on fossil fuels sparks backlash from libertarians | EU 2019 greenhouse gas emissions down 24 percent MORE (R-Ala.) similarly stated there are “enough challenges” facing lawmakers without “personal, vindictive insults.”

“There is no excuse for the president’s spiteful comments –they were absolutely unacceptable and this needs to stop,” Murkowski tweeted. “We have enough challenges addressing the humanitarian crises both at our borders and around the world. Instead of digging deeper into the mud with personal, vindictive insults –we must demand a higher standard of decorum and decency.”

Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOvernight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases Bipartisan Senate group holding coronavirus relief talks amid stalemate Biden says transition outreach from Trump administration has been 'sincere' MORE (R-Ohio) said the tweet is “divisive and wrong.”

“I wish the President would talk more about the strong economy that he has helped create, and unite people around that,” he said in a statement.

Rep. Lloyd SmuckerLloyd Kenneth SmuckerHouse Republicans ask Amtrak CEO for information on Biden's train trips Rep. Lloyd Smucker added to House GOP leadership Lobbying World MORE (R-Pa.) did not specifically call out Trump or his Sunday comments, but the conservative tweeted that “racially motivated statements or behavior is totally unacceptable and unbecoming of our great nation.”

Trump's tweets were aimed at four Democratic lawmakers: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezModerate Democrats: Everyone's older siblings Ocasio-Cortez raises 0K to fight food and housing insecurity during video game battle Club for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarMeet the three Democrats who could lead foreign affairs in the House Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' MORE (Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' MORE (Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyGOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' Pelosi faces caucus divisions in Biden era Record number of Black women elected to Congress in 2020 MORE (Mass.). 

All four are women of color and U.S. citizens, and only Omar was born outside the United States.

Trump defended his comments on Monday and counterattacked, saying the Democratic congresswomen were radicals and that they should apologize to the country.

"When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said," he tweeted.

"So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!" he added.

He told reporters Monday afternoon he’s not concerned by those saying his comments are racist.

“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” he said.

Trump on Sunday said the Democratic women should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came" before they criticize the United States.

House Democrats announced plans to hold a vote on a resolution to formally condemn Trump's remarks, a vote that would put every member of the House on record over the issue.

-Updated 4 p.m.