AOC Slams Lindsey Graham for Calling "The Squad" Communists

July 16th 2019

 
Caricature - Lindsey Graham (   DonkeyHotey   )

Caricature - Lindsey Graham (DonkeyHotey)

By Eion HIggins

Common Dreams

After Sen. Lindsey Graham went on Fox News Monday morning to slur her and some of her fellow members of Congress as "anti-Semitic" and "anti-American," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez clapped back on—where else—Twitter, calling out the South Carolina Republican for his comments.

During Graham's appearance on "Fox and Friends," one of President Donald Trump's favorite shows, the senator called Ocasio-Cortez and fellow members of "The Squad" Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) "communists" who "hate Israel" and America. Graham derided the quartet for about half a minute before piously expressing his hope that the president would rise above personal attacks and focus on policy. 

"I see Lindsey Graham's biggest issue with Trump's racism is that it doesn't go far enough," tweeted Ocasio-Cortez. "Graham wants to bring back 1950s McCarthyism, too."

"GOP is doing this because they have no plan for our future," Ocasio-Cortez added. "We're the ones fighting for healthcare, education, good jobs, and they got nothing."

Activist Jordan Uhl expressed his bemusement over Graham's 180 on Trump in the last four years.

"Lindsey Graham went from telling Trump to 'go to hell' and calling him a jackass in 2015 to calling progressive women of color 'communists' and 'anti-America,'" tweeted Uhl.

The president has amped up his attacks on The Squad in recent days, taking up the critiques leveled against the foursome by House Democratic leaders—on which Common Dreams reported—from the weekend to the next level. On Sunday, Trump implied the members of The Squad were from other countries (only Omar, who was born in Somalia, is not a native-born American) and demanded they "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."

The president doubled down on those comments Monday in remarks to reporters, saying that the four "are people who in my opinion hate our country."

"All I'm saying is, if they're not happy here, they can leave," the president added. 

That was enough for Pelosi to send a letter to her colleagues urging unity in the face of Trump's racism. 

"The House cannot allow the president's characterization of immigrants to our country to stand," wrote Pelosi. "Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the president's xenophobic tweets."

But Republicans were largely following Graham's lead Monday of criticizing The Squad before mildly reproaching the president for his language.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), a one-time Trump critic who changed his tune after having Secretary of State dangled in front of him in November 2016 before the president ultimately chose oil executive Rex Tillerson, told NBC10 Boston reporter Alison King that he disagreed with The Squad on their view of America. 

"I certainly feel a number of these new members of Congress have views that are not consistent with my experience and not consistent with building a strong America," said Romney.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) criticized the president briefly in a statement, but only after delivering a litany of reasons she dislikes the progressive quartet. 

"I disagree strongly with many of the views and comments of some of the far-left members of the House Democratic Caucus," said Collins, "especially when it comes to their views on socialism, their anti-Semitic rhetoric, and their negative comments about law enforcement."

Nonetheless, Collins added, "the president's tweet that some members of Congress should go back to the 'places from which they came' was way over the line, and he should take that down." 

But it was Graham's comments that came in for the harshest criticism from progressives. 

"Lindsey Graham lies about antisemitism in the midst of the most horrific rise of Nazism since the Holocaust, a rise eagerly facilitated by his own party," tweetedcartoonist Eli Valley. "He's endangering the lives of American Jews with these lies and this weaponization of Jew-hatred."

Eddie Glaude, a Princeton professor and well-known political commentator, was even more blunt about Graham. 

"This man has lost his damn mind and revealed his soul," tweeted Glaude.

Graham, on Sunday, told Fox Business Channel anchor Maria Bartiromo that the country should not release migrants held on the border in bad—and growing worse—conditions.

"I don't care if they have to stay in these facilities for 400 days," said Graham.

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