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Florida GOP Leaders Hedge or Keep Silent Before Disavowing Bigoted Chant at Trump Rally

| July 18, 2019

trump rally

The Trump rally in North Carolina where the crowd, inspired by the president’s attacks on a member of congress, chanted ‘send her back.’ (North Carolina GOP)

Florida Republican leaders were mostly silent Thursday when asked about a “Send her back!” chant at a campaign rally for President Donald Trump. But once the president disavowed the chant, some GOP elected officials spoke out against it.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said the chant, which was targeted Wednesday at Somalia-born Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, was “grotesque,” and that it was “wrong” for Trump to tweet on Sunday that four Democratic congresswomen of color should “go back” to the countries “from which they came from.” Omar was one of the four congresswomen.

But Rubio, a Miami-Dade County Republican, also attacked progressive politicians and the media amid the uproar about the chant.

“The left wing politicians and many in the media demanding outrage are self-righteous,” Rubio tweeted Thursday. “And the ‘outrage and response’ cycle allows for only two sides and demands you to pick a side or else. It’s a stupid game that I refuse to play.”

Florida Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, said he was pleased to hear the president disavow the chant Thursday, adding that he does not like the rhetoric and personal attacks.

“It is not constructive in any way and distracts from the real issues,” Galvano said in a statement to The News Service of Florida. He added that the situation has turned into a “dialogue about personalities, rather than policy,” which is what he would rather see.

Trump said Thursday he “was not happy” about the chant, which was shouted by a crowd at a campaign rally in North Carolina. Before Trump made his statement, two GOP members of the Florida House criticized the chant.

“Chanting ‘Send her back’ towards a Congresswoman (or any American) is racist. POTUS when he heard it should have put a stop to it. This election should be about the issues, not trying to further divide our country,” state Rep. Chris Latvala, R-Clearwater, tweeted early Thursday morning.

State Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, said that even though he disagrees with the beliefs of Omar, chanting “Send her back!” is “not the American answer.” In a “free republic,” he said, the appropriate response is “advocating against her dangerous beliefs and beating her at the ballot box.”

“The love of and belief in America has nothing to do with where someone was born, what ethnicity they are, or any other demographic; it has only to do with a belief in and commitment to freedom,” Grant told the News Service. “Anything less is an affront to freedom and a betrayal of this nation’s core.”

Also criticizing the chant before the president disavowed it was Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, a Republican.

In a Facebook message, Gimenez said he was “particularly disturbed” by campaign rally chants. He added that “any president from any political persuasion should not tolerate that type of behavior.”

“We should be able to discuss ideas and disagree on them. Whether a U.S. citizen was born in this country or came here (as I did as a child or arrived as an adult) and became a U.S. citizen by choice is immaterial,” Gimenez said.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose successful campaign last year was bolstered by the endorsement of Trump, did not comment on the president’s Sunday tweet and the subsequent chant.

“Governor DeSantis is focused on the issues that the voters of Florida entrusted him to oversee and the priorities related to the governance of Florida,” Helen Aguirre Ferre, a spokeswoman for the governor said when asked for comment.

Sen. Joe Gruters, a Sarasota Republican who doubles as the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, did not respond to requests for comment.

The silence from the governor and Gruters, who remains a staunch ally of the president, irked some Democrats.

“The president endorsed him (DeSantis), helped him win his primary, campaigned with him, kicked off an event in Orlando that he was part of. And literally has nothing to say,” Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, said in a text message.

State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, said “silence is complicity” in this situation.

“Every Floridian regardless of political party, but especially Republican elected leaders, have a moral responsibility to speak out against the president’s dangerous, un-American and racist attacks,” Smith said in a text message.

Terrie Rizzo, chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, said Republicans have an “obligation to call this kind of hate out when they see it.”

“By not speaking out about these comments, you are telling every Florida immigrant they are not welcome here,” Rizzo said in a prepared statement Thursday.

On Tuesday, Florida members of the U.S. House were forced to take a stance on the president’s Sunday tweet, which has been widely denounced as racist. In a measure passed mostly along party lines, the House voted to condemn Trump’s comment as racist. Florida Democratic representatives voted in favor of the resolution, while Florida Republicans voted against it.

–Ana Ceballos, News Service of Florida

30 Responses for “Florida GOP Leaders Hedge or Keep Silent Before Disavowing Bigoted Chant at Trump Rally”

  1. Dave says:

    Good GOP, stay subservient to your Dictator or else.

  2. Sherry says:

    It’s down right frightening and terrible to witness the fear and hatred of our fellow human beings that has LONG been encouraged by the daily drum beat of media like Fox and talking heads like Rush Limbaugh and many others.

    The President of our country should rise up to the position and power of that office. Such position and power requires courage and moral character that brings our people together and elevates our society toward the vision of our founding fathers.

    No President of our country should act in a way that is ILLEGAL according to “Anti- Discrimination” statutes
    No President of our country should EVER personally attack & LIE about the LEGAL citizenship of anyone. No President of our country should EVER incite people to personally vilify others.

    Yes. . . absolutely. . . debate the policies, laws, perspectives, issues. Our Democracy is made stronger when the people that love our country have the courage of their convictions and exercise their rights to take action, to protest, and even seek to hold an elected political office in order to achieve an even more perfect union. Leave the bullying personal attacks to the horrific dictators of third world countries.

    We are the UNITED STATES of AMERICA. . . We need to strive for a BETTER future that more closely achieves Liberty and Justice for ALL!

  3. Eva Mowry says:

    Perfectly said, Sherry!! Will all AMERICANS please stand up!!

  4. Michael Cocchiola says:

    Trump is a purely disgusting racist, misogynist, xenophobe. He is tearing America apart and polluting all that was America.

    Republicans who support Trump are Trump. You are what you stand up and chant for.

    I call upon all people in America who reject this hateful man and his adoring sycophants to vote against them and vote for recovery of all that America was and should be again.

  5. David T Schaefer says:

    Why wont Republicans stand up and realise what this idiot is doing to our country. He is nothing than a crook,lier,cheater and a racist has done nothing but destroy this country…..

  6. hawkeye says:

    to the people bashing trump ,I agree he is not a nice guy,however when the other choice was clinton ,trump was the lesser of 2 evils.

  7. The Realist says:

    America has always been anti immigrant. Look at the trouble the Indians gave the immigrants trying to settle here hundreds of years ago.

  8. gmath55 says:

    What do you expect when you hate America.

    New York Democrats HATE America and Ocasio-Cortez: America As It Currently Stands is ‘Garbage’ She has made many more stupid comments too.

    Ilhan Omar, Ambassador of Hate and, there are more articles about her hatred.

    BTW isn’t calling Trump orange man racists? Playing the race card goes two ways.

  9. Sherry says:

    We deserve much more in a President than what we are forced to endure now. We deserve much more in our Governor and Congressional representatives than the complete COWARDS who do NOT represent ALL their constituents as they were elected to do. Our wonderful nation and Democracy is being hijacked right before our eyes

    Do we not deserve leaders who act according to moral ethics laid out in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence?
    Do we not deserve leaders who are HONEST? For how are we to trust them otherwise?
    Do we not deserve leaders who are acting in OUR best interest instead of their own?
    Do we not deserve leaders who are respected by the leaders of other nations?
    Do we not deserve leaders who are caring for the vital air we breathe and water that sustains us?

    We who are TRUE PATRIOTS, who are TRUE HUMANITARIANS, who take pride in our MORAL CHARACTER and protecting our environment. Let us stand together AGAINST negative the emotions of FEAR and HATE! Let us be courageous and strong in the face of that which is being used to divide us and manipulate so many into accepting what is being done to our country. . . and therefore to US PERSONALLY..

    Remember who we are. We were the ones who were blessed and incredibly fortunate to be born in a country that allows us to strive to evolve and be BETTER human beings that create a BETTER society for a BETTER future.

    Remember “US” stands for the “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” . . . which also means . . US! Each and every one of “US”!

    Stand up! Call them ALL! Demand that they do “the right thing”! See you on election day!

  10. hawkeye says:

    to the posters here that are on their moral high horse, the clintons are the epitome of immorallity, three examples,vince foster, monica lewinsky, benghazi, trot out some better candidates and you might do better next election.

  11. Flatsflyer says:

    Trump is a sick individual, everything he complains about is a mirror of his own life and short comings! I volunteer to serve on Jury Duty when he is finally brought to justice.

  12. Sherry says:

    Still I Rise
    You may write me down in history
    With your bitter, twisted lies,
    You may trod me in the very dirt
    But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

    Does my sassiness upset you?
    Why are you beset with gloom?
    ’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
    Pumping in my living room.

    Just like moons and like suns,
    With the certainty of tides,
    Just like hopes springing high,
    Still I’ll rise.

    Did you want to see me broken?
    Bowed head and lowered eyes?
    Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
    Weakened by my soulful cries?

    Does my haughtiness offend you?
    Don’t you take it awful hard
    ’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
    Diggin’ in my own backyard.
    ou may shoot me with your words,
    You may cut me with your eyes,
    You may kill me with your hatefulness,
    But still, like air, I’ll rise.

    Does my sexiness upset you?
    Does it come as a surprise
    That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
    At the meeting of my thighs?

    Out of the huts of history’s shame
    I rise
    Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
    I rise
    I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
    Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

    Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
    I rise
    Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
    I rise
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
    I rise
    I rise
    I rise.
    Maya Angelou

  13. Sherry says:

    My moral “high horse” suits me just fine, thank you!

    Let me ask you this. . . why aren’t you on yours?

    Since when is it better to wallow in the gutter of fear and hate. . . while pointing the finger at the past transgressions of others?

    The EVIL we are trying to expel from our lives is happening NOW!

    Climb up here with me. . . the view is to a brighter future of peace and love. . . the air is rarefied!

  14. CJ says:

    It’s pretty obvious. The republican party is the party of racists and evangelical hypocrites.

  15. hawkeye says:

    sherry ,the point I am trying to make is this,out of the clintons and trump, President Trump is the less of 2 evils,he did not cheat on his wife while he was president like clinton did, and no I wont climb any where with you.Trump was not my choice for president ,I voted against clinton and you have no right to question my morallity

  16. Michael Bolchunas says:

    It is scary to see in the comments how many mentally challenged people we have in Palm Coast… For goodness sake I hope normal people just don’t comment… I am a naturalized citizen, and I think that citizenship should be revoked if I would say hateful thing about my country. Trump 2020, thank God Democrats don’t stand a chance. Can’t wait to watch next Circus Democratic debate…

  17. Bobby says:

    Articles like this(opinion) tend to bring out the worst in people. Omar is a bigot herself- no question about it. I am one of the deplorables, I guess. I don’t hate anyone or anything. I don’t agree with their politics When I hear about antifa burning the flag or the taking down of the flag and putting up a Mexican flag. I get angry . I just feel these people dislike what America stands for. I also feel bias on tv is rampant. When you start a newscast branding a person a racist over and over and over, It shows me where the real bias is. Identity politics is wrong. We all can be called a racist or a white supremest Think about it

  18. marlee says:

    remember this?

    American carnage

    On the day he took office in 2017, Trump painted a picture of America as a dystopian nightmare.

    Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

    This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

  19. Alphonse Abonte says:

    In 2016 AMERICANS made a choice. Not a politician. All the hate that are in these posts are from Democrats.So called “Americans”. Democrats have a platform for 2020, the race card. If you do not agree with a Democrat you are a racist. If your opinion is different from a Democrat you are spewing hatred.

    No other president has been attacked by the democrats like Trump. I give him a pass for fighting back against those who want to destroy our republic. Only a tough SOB can survive what the democrats have become over the last ten years. Trump is that man.

    With the election coming next year we will see what America really wants.

    Do they want to keep America a Republic or do they want to head to Socialism ?

    Do they Freedom or to be owned by the Government – where the government gives them free stuff so that the gov can control them ?

    Do they want to live with laws or open the borders and live like Mexico and the other 3rd world countries?

    Let’s see how America will vote – with all these protest that the news is showing – looks good on TV but in reality is it only a small % or is it real?

    We’ve got literal socialists running for President. People that want to do away with all immigration enforcement, raise taxes, and outlaw private health insurance. In other words, the stakes for 2020 are incredibly high.

    The left has drifted into insanity in everything.

    You want free ****, well then you need to be taxed at 100% to pay for everyone’s free crap.
    You want to be safe, well then give the government all your weapons.
    You want to end hate, well then hate the other side so they shut up and sit down.
    You want to preserve life, well then have an abortion.

    etc., etc., etc.

    New Democratic Pledge

    I pledge allegiance to the Flag
    Of the Divided States of America
    And to the future Socialist State, for which it stands
    Two nations, under thumb, with no liberty and no justice for anyone

    Time Will Tell

  20. richiesanto says:

    I wish all these trumpers would just stop bringing up the clintons. Yes, they are crooks TOO. But let’s remember who is the current child in chief. His behavior is reminiscent of Adolf Hitler and all people need to do is READ! I understand that he tells you to not read but do you people seriously not have a brain? Can you actually make an educated decision?

  21. gmath55 says:

    Ilhan Omar “ Some People Did Something” on 9/11.
    President Trump “ Some People Did Something” on 7/17 in North Carolina.

  22. Edith Campins says:

    When faced with his indefensible behavior trump supporters bring up the Clintons, because they have no arguments that can defend his behavior, nothing. Let me remind them that the Clintons do not currently hold public office, they they have not been charged/indicted for any crimes. Hard as republicans tried, with their many hearings, they couldn’t find anything to charge Mrs. Clinton with. As for Pres. Clinton, he was punished for his indefensible behavior, he was impeached. The Clinton Foundation has been investigated but it still exists, elping others around the world. The trump foundation has been shut down for its corrupt practices and the entire family is prohibited from starting any similar endeavour. Neither Clinton ever engaged in racist, inflamatory rhetoric. Neither one ever lowered themselves to the name calling and insults trump uses every day. Neither one insulted other candidates or spread false rumours about their critics.
    As for the claim that no other president has ever been attacked like trump…someone must have been living under a rock for the eight years of the Obama presidency.

  23. Sherry says:

    Excuse me. . . Each of us has EVERY RIGHT to question what ever and who ever we please! Read the 1st Amendment:

    ” Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

    In fact, truly courageous patriots challenge our society to compassionately “do the right thing”, and our leaders to represent “ALL” their constituents and to create laws, rules and regulations that uphold the ethics and American values laid out in the documents that were drawn up when our nation was founded.

    “Fascism is a form of government which is a type of one-party dictatorship. Fascists are against democracy. … Fascism puts nation and often race above the individual. It stands for a centralized government headed by a dictator. Historically, fascist governments tend to be militaristic, and racist.”

    When our leaders and right winged media team up and try to march our nation into Fascism, as it is doing now, it is up to true patriots to demand that the current administration in the White House and Republicans in Congress govern according to guiding principles such as:

    1. EQUAL Justice Under the Law. . . regardless of skin color, or religious belief, or who you love
    2. FREEDOM of the PRESS. . . not just the press that lives to stroke the EGO of the president
    3. THE RIGHT TO VOTE. . . free from voter suppression and gerrymandering
    4. CODE OF ETHICS. . . which includes NOT blatantly and frequently lying to the American people. . . and on, and on. . .

    Many of us sleep quite well at night for we remain courageously “independent” in our thinking, honest in our daily lives, compassionate towards our family, friends, neighbors and humanity, active in caring for the planet, believers in equality for all and welcoming to those who evolve enough to move away from evil, fear and hate, and “see the light.”

  24. richiesanto says:

    Nicely stated Sherry! Glad you brought up the first amendment. I realize many of the trumpers don’t understand about the bill of rights or what these constitutional amendments mean, BUT it is time to start educating yourselves! First order of business: READ the first amendment. See if president apprentice advocates violation of any parts of this amendment. Is that a bad thing to criticize and advocate against the foundation of our democracy? Is it a bad thing for the person who holds the HIGHEST OFFICE to lie thousands of times to the American public? Is it a bad thing for the doofus in chief to practice OVERT racism and encourage his supporters to do likewise? I realize that some of these great things he has accomplished: tax reform for the wealthy and single handedly rescuing America from our worst financial crisis since the great depression (or was that that Kenyan guy??) but it is time to FACE THE FACTS! He wants to be Vlad the second and he is doing a great job of it!

  25. gmath55 says:

    Best comment here Alphonse Abonte and Americans will stand up come election time! This has nothing to do with the color of their skin but with their policies The CNN and MSNBC cult will never admit when they are wrong. Remember the Convington High student’s? Cough cough. And, are being sued. Perfect example of media bias.

    All the Trump haters and hate-filled extremists you all right with anti American, anti-Semitic attack, accusing Border Patrol of running concentration camps, drinking water from toilets, which was a lie. How about haters calling President Trump orange man, mother f—–, Hitler and Nazi? All of you are hypocrites!

    BTW Bill and Hillary Clinton were at a Billy Joel concert recently. Billy Joel introduced them and the crowd booed and heckled them. That is all you need to know what people think of the Clinton’s. Oh! Was that racists too?

  26. Sherry says:

    Thank you Eva and Richie for your support and kind words. . . and really great points.

    Edith, excellent post about the Clintons. . . it is amazing how some in our community have simply turned over their brains to FOX and Rush. It seems all they can do is parrot those “spin room” talking points. Republicans investigated Benghazi for years . . . found NO significant wrongdoing. . . and still hammer on it endlessly to this day. They don’t talk much about Secretary of State Clinton’s email server . . . which was proven not to be anything more than ill advised. Why? Because the security breaches by the current administration are far worse . . . with little ongoing media attention at all.

    Yes, President Clinton had an affair with Monica. . . and “he” was impeached because of it. Laughingly trump is held up as a “better” person because his affairS and alleged sexual assaultS happened BEFORE he moved into the White House. Also, some in our community seem to actually believe that “Orange” is a natural skin color. . . so, we should all be careful not to be racist against them “Orange” people. . . my laugh of the day! LOL!

  27. Bobby says:

    Again the media was out in full force this Sunday. Subject was Trump and race. I would like the media to report what the Congress women said. That won’t happen . To me , the media and their bias divide the county. I am tired of the Dems calling anyone who disagrees with them RACIST,etc. The media just goes along with it.

  28. gmath55 says:

    Yes, President Clinton had an affair with Monica. . . and “he” was impeached because of it. NO!

    President Bill Clinton was impeached for committing two acts of perjury, one act of obstruction of justice and one act of abuse of power to commit perjury.

    Should probably do research before making a false comment.

  29. Sherry says:

    No false statements here. . . Bill Clinton was Impeached as a result of the Monica investigation and his efforts to cover it up. . . we ALL KNOW that!

    What will be interesting to see is the outcome of trump’s obstruction involving NUMEROUS incidents outlined in the Mueller report.

    BTW. . . While, in my opinion, Representative Omar needs to rise to her new position and not to express her personal opinion on Zionism. She certainly is not the only one who has that perspective:

    United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379, adopted on 10 November 1975 by a vote of 72 to 35 (with 32 abstentions), “determine[d] that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”.

    Representative Omar would do well to NOT follow the very bad habit and example of trump by speaking before she thinks about her position and influence. I have no doubt she will learn this lesson much better than trump.

    I would appreciate one of the “Squad” Bashers to, cite, from a credible source, the full context of what ever makes you think these four women of color “hate” the USA. I haven’t been able to find their “hate filled” words. As Americans, weren’t they elected to try and make (“their”) our country a better place for ALL?
    trump is most certainly NOT America! Criticizing him is NOT hating America! Although I have no doubt that narcissistic megalomaniac sees it that way.

  30. Richard says:

    The left and ALL of its followers are so blind from the constant lies it has been fed for years upon years that it is will be like waves of sheep falling into the Grand Canyon when November 2020 comes around. Keep that wool over you head so it won’t hurt so bad once you all hit rock bottom!

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