Governor Charlie Baker on Monday condemned as racist President Trump’s tweets directing four congresswomen of color go back to “the broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
“I thought the President’s tweets were shameful. They were racist,” Baker said at an unrelated event Monday, according to his office. “They bring a tremendous amount of . . . disgrace to public policy and public life and I condemn them all.”
Of the congresswomen targeted by the President, three of them, including Representative Ayanna Pressley of Boston, were born in the US. A fourth, Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, has been a US citizen for nearly two decades.
Asked by a reporter why his Republican colleagues have been slow to respond to the tweets, including one of his predecessors on Beacon Hill, US Senator Mitt Romney, Baker said any politician should be appalled.
“Anybody who spends anytime at all in public life and appreciates the fact that our role and our job is to represent everyone we serve, and to listen to everyone we serve, and to value everyone we serve, should be appalled,” Baker said.
Baker was one of the few Republicans to speak out after Trump attacked Omar, Pressley, and Representatives Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
Baker has criticized Trump in the past, and said he did not vote for Trump in 2016. Asked to characterize him in three words last year, Baker called Trump “outrageous, disgraceful, and a divider.”
Just a handful of Republican senators, including Susan Collins of Maine, publically rebuked Trump on Monday.
House Democrats, meanwhile, were set to vote on a resolution condemning the tweets, even as Trump defended his statements in lengthy remarks on Monday.
Trump suggested his tweets were not about race as he spoke to reporters from the White House. But the charge to “go back to your country” has long been known as a racist trope.
When asked if he was concerned that many saw his comments as racist, Trump replied, “It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me.”