In a remarkable political repudiation, the Democratic-led U.S. House voted on Tuesday night to condemn President Donald Trump’s “racist comments” against four Democratic Congresswomen of colour, despite protestations by Mr. Trump’s Republican congressional allies and his own insistence he hasn’t “a racist bone in my body.”
Two days after Mr. Trump tweeted that four Democratic Congresswomen should “go back ” to their home countries — though all are citizens and three were born in the USA — Democrats muscled the resolution through the chamber by 240-187 over the near-solid GOP opposition.
The rebuke was an embarrassing one for Mr. Trump even though it carries no legal repercussions, but the highly partisan roll calls suggests it is unlikely to cost him with his die-hard conservative base.
On Monday, the four — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — struck back at a news conference and urged people not to “take the bait.”
Despite a lobbying effort by Mr. Trump and party leaders for a unified GOP front, four Republicans voted to condemn his remarks: moderate Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Fred Upton of Michigan, Will Hurd of Texas and Susan Brooks of Indiana, who is retiring.
Also backing the measure was Michigan’s independent Rep. Justin Amash, who left the GOP this month after becoming the party’s sole member of Congress to back a Mr. Trump impeachment inquiry.
Before the showdown roll call, Mr. Trump characteristically plunged forward with time-tested insults. He accused his four outspoken critics of “spewing some of the most vile, hateful and disgusting things ever said by a politician” and added, “If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave!” — echoing taunts long unleashed against political dissidents rather than opposing parties’ lawmakers.
The President was joined by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and other top Republicans in trying to redirect the focus from Mr. Trump’s original tweets, which for three days have consumed Washington and drawn widespread condemnation.
Instead, they tried playing offense by accusing the four congresswomen — among the Democrats’ most left-leaning members and ardent Mr. Trump critics — of socialism, an accusation that’s already a central theme of the GOP’s 2020 presidential and congressional campaigns.
Even after two-and-a-half years of Mr. Trump’s turbulent governing style, the spectacle of a president futilely labouring to head off a House vote essentially proclaiming him to be a racist was extraordinary.
Underscoring the stakes, Republicans formally objected after Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said during a floor speech that Mr. Trump’