Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is weighing in on the growing controversy surrounding President Donald Trump's comments over the weekend about how four congresswoman of color should go back to the "broken and crime infested" countries they came from.
Baker, a Republican who has often clashed with Trump, called the comments "shameful and racist," adding that Trump's tweets are "a disgrace." He said the comments send "a horrid, debilitating, hateful message."
The governor said he hopes other Republicans reject Trump's tweets, saying that a big part of the job for those in public service is to represent everybody, even if they don't always agree.
Democrats were quick to label the president's comments as racist and divisive, but many Republicans have remained silent. Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins said the tweet was "way over the line and he should take that down." Republican Sens. Patrick Toomey and Lindsey Graham also responded to the tweets. Sen. Toomey said, "We should defeat their ideas on the merits, not on the basis of their ancestry." Sen. Graham said that Trump should "aim higher." Meanwhile, former Republican presidential candidate John Kasich called the remarks "deplorable and beneath the dignity of the office."
Trump has so far refused to apologize, and instead asked on Twitter when "the Radical Left Congresswomen" would "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."
"So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!" he wrote.
In his initial tweets, Trump cited "Congresswomen" — an almost-certain reference to a group of women known as "the squad" that includes Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
Pressley, the first black woman elected to the House from Massachusetts, was born in Cincinnati.
Ocasio-Cortez, who is of Puerto Rican descent, was born in the Bronx, New York, and raised in suburban Westchester County.
Omar, the first Somali native elected to Congress and one of its first Muslim women, was born in Somalia but spent much of her childhood in a Kenyan refugee camp as civil war tore apart her home country. She immigrated to the United States at age 12, teaching herself English by watching American TV and eventually settling with her family in Minneapolis.
Tlaib was born in Detroit.