Romney: 'Send her back' chants 'offensive,' 'unfortunate' for GOP

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPresident Trump is weak against Bernie Sanders in foreign affairs Conservative activist Charlie Kirk urges CPAC crowd to boo Romney The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pence taps health official to aid coronavirus response MORE (R-Utah) said Thursday that the “send her back” chants during President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Congress eyes billion to billion to combat coronavirus Sanders makes the case against Biden ahead of SC primary MORE’s North Carolina rally were “offensive” and bad for the Republican Party. 

“I found the chanting and the chants to be offensive. Very unfortunate for my party but also for our country,” Romney told reporters when asked about chants about Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarBill banning menthol in cigarettes divides Democrats, with some seeing racial bias Progressive group leader describes why Warren would be better than Sanders Omar offers sneak peek at her forthcoming memoir MORE (D-Minn.). 

Trump’s rally sparked a political firestorm when he railed against four Democratic women of color. Trump was in the middle of a diatribe against Omar when the crowd broke into chants of “send her back.”

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Romney, asked if Trump should publicly push back against the rhetoric, said the president “has a special responsibility to unite all Americans.”

The senator also signaled that he was concerned about the potential for long-term damage to the GOP and said that he wants Republicans to be a “big-tent, not a small-tent,” party. 

The rally chants were the latest escalation of attacks by Trump and his supporters against the four Democratic House members — Reps. Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez cuts census ad with Lin-Manuel Miranda Bill banning menthol in cigarettes divides Democrats, with some seeing racial bias Industry group warns fracking ban could cost 7.5M jobs in US MORE (N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBill banning menthol in cigarettes divides Democrats, with some seeing racial bias Omar offers sneak peek at her forthcoming memoir Sanders wins endorsement of top Muslim group MORE (Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — California monitoring 8,400 people for coronavirus | Pence taps career official to coordinate response | Dems insist on guardrails for funding Bill banning menthol in cigarettes divides Democrats, with some seeing racial bias Progressive Democrat confronts Rep. Cuellar at parade, calls for him to debate her: report MORE (Mass.) — known as "the squad.”

Several House Republicans have rebuked the Wednesday night chants.

Trump said Thursday that he disagrees with the “send her back” chant.

“I was not happy with it. I disagree with it,” Trump told reporters at the White House.