WASHINGTON – Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, stood by comparing President Donald Trump’s recent North Carolina rally to a “Nuremberg rally” — under questioning from Meghan McCain on The View — adding that those who partook in the “send her back” chants should be held responsible.
O’Rourke criticized the president for his racist comments calling on four congresswomen of color to “go back” to their countries. The four progressive Democrats, Reps., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, have condemned Trump’s language as racist.
All four congresswomen, who are colloquially known as the “Squad,” are U.S. citizens and three were born in the U.S. Omar immigrated to the United States from Somalia over 20 years ago and is a naturalized citizen.
“Asking four women of color to ‘go back’ to their own country, and then connect it with everything else that he’s doing — the press as the enemy of the people. There is only one path that that will take us down,” O’Rourke said during an appearance on The View Tuesday.
Trump has continued to bash the four congresswomen and repeatedly denied that his comments are racist. During a North Carolina rally last Wednesday, chants of “send her back” broke out while Trump was criticizing Omar. Trump initially denounced the chant, but has since called those at his rally “patriots.”
On Monday, O’Rourke said he believes Trump is a racist and that the North Carolina rally was an “impromptu Nuremberg rally,” which was an annual rally for the Nazi Party.
“What we saw in North Carolina last week was almost an impromptu Nuremberg rally, inciting hatred and, ultimately, I think implicit in that, is violence against people based on the color of their skin, based on their religion, based on their difference from the majority of Americans,” he told ABC News.
However, View co-host Meghan McCain challenged O’Rourke on his comments comparing Trump’s rally to a Nazi rally.
“You’re talking about Trump supporters, comparing them to Nazis in Nuremberg, that sounds extreme to me as well,” she said. “When Democrats come on here and wax poetic about extremism—I’m not saying Trump isn’t doing it, but you’re calling everybody who was in that North Carolina rally a Nazi.”
“From my standpoint, it seems like the left is pretty extreme as well,” she added.
McCain, a conservative and daughter of the late GOP Sen. John McCain, is a frequent and longtime critic of the president.
Although O’Rourke said he did not call “everyone” who was at Trump’s rally a Nazi, he did say those who chanted should take responsibility for their actions.
“We all have accountability for our actions and everyone who shouted to send them back is responsible for that as well,” he said to cheers from the studio audience at The View.
McCain quickly responded asking about the people in the rally that didn’t chant.
“You’re going to have to win over some of these people that voted for Obama and then voted for Trump again,” she said. “You have to understand how it looks for people in the middle, thinking that maybe I don’t agree with everything that the left is saying so automatically you’re Nazis?”
“I don’t care who you voted for last time,” O’Rourke responded to McCain. “I don’t care if you’re a Trump supporter or a Republican. You’re an American first before you are anything else and I call you to this country’s greatness.”
Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee in the 2016 election, labeled half of Trump’s supporters as “deplorable” during the last presidential cycle. Trump’s campaign seized on Clinton’s characterization of his supporters and repeatedly criticized her for it. In her 2017 book “What Happened,” Clinton said that the incident was one of the factors behind her loss to Trump.
The President is a racist. Shouting “send them back” at a rally is racist. I will not apologize for saying so. But I believe Americans—Democrats and Republicans alike—are ready to rise above Trump’s bigotry. And I believe, together, we will. https://t.co/sJooFQMZFa
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) July 23, 2019